Tourism officials predict ‘solid’ winter season

Members of the Antigua and Barbuda delegation, Team Antigua Island Girls who are entering the forthcoming Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, and other tourism partners during the 2018 World Travel Market. (Photo courtesy Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority)

If all goes well for the upcoming winter season, Antigua and Barbuda tourism officials expect a “solid” winter with increased arrivals from the country’s major source markets. 

As of mid-December 2018, American Airlines will be operating two daily flights from Miami for the very first time. Delta Airlines will also be putting on additional flights from Atlanta Georgia and a direct service from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York during the winter season.

 Chief Executive Officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Colin James spoke about the predictions during a recent interview with Public Relations Officer of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation Johnson Johnrose at the 2018 World Travel Market which ended in London this week.

The World Travel Market is the world’s leading conference for the travel industry and takes place in London’s largest exhibition centre. 

“We are looking forward to a strong winter season from North American, Canada and the United Kingdom and Europe. As we met with a lot of our major partners, we can confirm that the forward bookings are solid and we are looking forward to a strong winter season and a strong sailing season,” James said.

He also stated that the activities on the open 

water should increase when the twin-island state hosts the annual Antigua Chartered Yacht meeting in late December and the Optimist World Dinghy Challenge which will be hosted here for the first-time next July. 

“We will have probably over 500 children and their parents coming to compete,” James said.

Meanwhile, the 2018 World Travel Market, held from November 5-7, welcomed over 50,000 buyers, exhibitors, media and industry professionals for a chance to network and negotiate with members of the tourism community.

As it relates to the official exhibition, the local tourism officials say the meeting was a huge success noting that over the three days the ABTA hosted over 40 meetings with top tour operators, suppliers and some of the most influential media practitioners in the UK. 

The Antiguan team included CEO of the ABTA James; Asha Frank, Barbuda Council’s Chair of Tourism, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs; Cricketing Legend Sir Vivian Richards; and Director of Tourism UK and Europe, Cherrie Osbourne. They were also supported by Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to the U.K., Karen-Mae Hill.

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