Tourism poised for bounce back – Fernandez

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The forecast for Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism is looking good, according to information from the sector’s new minister.
Charles Fernandez, who also heads foreign affairs and immigration, addressed the opening of a retreat and planning meeting which got underway at the Carlisle Bay Resort on Tuesday.  The gathering, which includes tourism officials, operators, and travel partners, is aimed at coming up with the country’s tourism strategy for 2018 and beyond.
Fernandez provided the context for their discussions.
“I’ve just returned from World Travel Market and the general feeling among our airline and tour operator partners was that although [2017] has been a challenging year for us with the impact of the recent hurricanes, along with Brexit currency fluctuations, and the loss of critical rooms to sell in 2017, all indicators are now pointing to a very strong winter season and growth in stay over arrivals for 2018.”
Fernandez added that they were also looking forward to the opportunities that would be provided by businesses opening in the new year and he singled out the Hodges Bay Resort and Spa as one such entity
“By 2019 it is estimated that the total number of stay-over visitors will surpass 280,000 and we should be welcoming close to one million cruise passengers. We therefore need to be strategic, dynamic, proactive and adaptive to all opportunities for strengthening and growing our tourism industry.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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