Antigua and Barbuda demonstrates strong tourism growth in 2018
Tourism Officials report that, for the first time in over 15 years, Antigua and Barbuda has shown the strongest visitor arrivals by air.
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials have reported that, for the first time in over fifteen years, Antigua and Barbuda has shown the strongest overall visitor arrivals by air from January to June (148,139), with significant increases in the key source markets for the destination: US, Canada, UK and Caribbean. This represents an overall +7% increase from 2017. The closest the destination previously came to these figures was in 2008 (146,935).
In particular, the month of June demonstrated significant increases: Canada has the greatest year-over-year increase with over 170%, followed by the US (14.35%), Caribbean (8.69%) and UK (8.27%). In addition, the destination is seeing an average 11.57% increase in sea arrivals (502,527 from January – May), and an average 8.6% growth in occupancy rates.
This growth is set to continue with significant increased airlift from North America in the Fall 2018, the opening of the destination’s newest 5-star resort and spa, Hodges Bay, in October 2018 as well as a full cruise schedule.
“We are excited by this positive momentum in growth of arrivals, both by cruise and air. It is incredibly encouraging for the tourism industry, and I would like to congratulate the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the private sector, stakeholders and all our tourism partners on helping us reach these positive results for the first 6 months of the year. We will not rest on our laurels, and are striving for better. We will continue to invest in infrastructure and service and raise awareness of Antigua and Barbuda, to ensure we see consistent growth in arrivals,” said the Minister of Tourism and Investment, Honorable Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez.
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“The first half of 2018 has shown incredible improvement, especially in our key source markets. We look forward to relentlessly working towards attracting new and returning visitors, improving our on-island tourism products as well as increasing access through our award-winning airport and port. We are doubling our airlift out of Miami, introducing new direct service out of New York and Canada, and welcoming new cruise ships to an already busy schedule. Combined with our aggressive marketing strategies, we are confident that we will continue to see remarkable growth for the second half of the year,” said the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James.
In 2017, the islands reached a tourism milestone in welcoming over one million air and sea visitors. The arrival and occupancy figures for the first half of the year are positive indicators that Antigua and Barbuda is set for another record year in tourism.