Antigua & Barbuda Tourism CEO declares country a safe destination

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Antigua and Barbuda continues to be a safe destination for tourists, according to Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. 

During his remarks at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 22, James emphasized the nation’s low crime rates and the commitment to safety in local businesses.

Despite a small number of incidents, Antigua and Barbuda maintains its reputation as a secure travel choice. The country recorded five murders in the year, all involving local individuals. 

This comes in contrast to travel advisories issued by the U.S. Government against other Caribbean nations like Jamaica, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago due to concerns over rising crime levels. 

However, tourism in those regions has shown resilience, with visitor numbers bouncing back quickly after initial declines.

At the conference, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig highlighted the negligible impact of crime on tourists in the Caribbean.

Data from a Mastercard survey confirmed that the vast majority of visitors felt overwhelmingly safe during their stay. 

Madden-Greig pointed out the strong regional efforts to maintain and boost the Caribbean’s image as a welcoming and secure destination.

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The post-pandemic period has seen a significant upturn in tourism for Antigua and Barbuda, with an 11 per cent increase in flights in the first quarter of 2024. 

Over 97,000 tourists arrived by air in this period alone.

Major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, United Air, WestJet, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, have upped their service to the island, anticipating continued growth in visitor numbers.

The country is gearing up for a bustling year with several major events on the horizon. The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be hosted in St John’s from May 27 to 30, attracting over 3,000 delegates worldwide. 

With most accommodation facilities fully booked, the event is set to be a major success.

Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda will serve as one of the venues for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the Caribbean Premier League, further showcasing the island’s capacity to host large-scale international events. 

New air services by Sunrise Airways and LIAT are also starting, improving regional connectivity and accessibility.

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