Antigua and Barbuda islanders “clean up” for World Tourism Day


(eTN) – The islands of Antigua and Barbuda celebrated International Coastal Clean-Up Day with Tourism Minister John Maginley and music icon Kathy Sledge, principal singer of the group Sister Sledge and a frequent visitor to the destination, leading citizens in both the clean up and a tree planting initiative.

“These community programs will help highlight the importance of biodiversity to tourism and the role of sustainable tourism in the conservation of life on Earth and will help safeguard the range of unique species and ecosystems that make up our twin islands and ultimately, our planet,” said Tourism Minister John Maginley.

Winner of the 2010 Biodiversity jingle competition, Joni Spencer of Sunnyside Tutorial, performed and participated in these initiatives.

World Tourism Day is a thematic event held every year on September 27th. Its purpose is to foster awareness, among the international community, of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism industry can make in reaching these goals.

The theme “Tourism and Biodiversity” is particularly pertinent in 2010. Concerned by the continued loss of biological diversity, the United Nations Assembly declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity. The year coincides with the target adopted by governments in 2002 to achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of biodiversity loss.

Where in the world?
Antigua (pronounced An-tee’ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’ da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua & Barbuda comprises 108-square miles. The 365 white and pink sand beaches, one for every day of the year, are just the beginning of the treasures that await visitors.

Antigua’s rich history and spectacular topography provide a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort commissioned by the British in 1755, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Betty’s Hope, built in 1674, is the site of one of the first full-scale sugar plantations on Antigua, and offers a chance to step back into time by visiting the restored mills. Another unique attraction is Devil’s Bridge, located at the eastern tip of the island in Indian Town National Park, where Atlantic breakers have carved out a natural limestone arch.

Antigua boasts a varied tourism calendar including events such as the World Class Antigua Sailing Week, Classic Yacht Regatta, Antigua Sports Fishing and also the annual Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Island accommodations range from luxury resorts and all-inclusive hotels to smaller more intimate boutique guesthouses and cottages.