Report Reveals Antigua & Barbuda’s Tourism Collaboration and Growth Plans for 2024

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
A – State of the Industry Report – Head Table presenters L – R Min. Fernandez, Craig Marshall, Chester Hughes, Colin C. James

Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) Leads Innovative State of the Industry Report, Showcasing Industry-Wide Collaborative Efforts 

Antigua and Barbuda, on September 21, 2023 – The Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association (ABHTA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Investment and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, has unveiled a State of the Industry Report, underscoring a commitment to fostering enhanced collaboration across all facets of the hospitality industry.

The report launch event featured prominent presentations from key hospitality professionals, including Minister Charles “Max’ Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Investment; Craig Marshall, Chairman of the ABHTA; Chester Hughes, Deputy General Secretary of the Antigua & Barbuda Workers Union; and Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

Minister Fernandez, while outlining the visionary plan for 2032, highlighted five crucial focus areas for the destination’s development.

These areas encompass sustainability, the creation of authentic local experiences, the establishment of a robust legislative and policy framework, investment in a highly skilled workforce, and the cultivation of an industry that benefits all Antiguans and Barbudans through economic linkages.

Minister Fernandez underscored the importance of taking ownership of the industry, emphasizing the need for local commitment to environmental preservation and island growth as foundational steps before expanding services to visitors.

Minister Fernandez further noted “The room inventory is poised for significant expansion in the upcoming months. The Hawksbill Hotel is set to reopen with 111 refurbished rooms just in time for the 2023/2024 season.

Additionally, the Curtain Bluff Resort is undergoing renovations, including the addition of a wellness area, slated for completion in October 2023. In 2024, we anticipate the introduction of Moon Gate, featuring 40 units as a new addition to our hotel offerings.

Furthermore, construction for the Nikki Beach Project is scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2024. Finally, in the first quarter of 2024, the new Royalton Chic development will launch phase one of its project, featuring 230 rooms.”

During his presentation, Craig Marshall, Chairman of the ABHTA, stressed the importance of advancing the tourism industry by concentrating on key factors, particularly bolstering airlift, especially from primary source markets like the UK.

He pointed out that a reduction in flights from the UK during the past summer significantly impacted the performance of many ABHTA members.

Marshall emphasized the need to prioritize sustained airlift during the summer months for the destination’s year-round success.

Additionally, Mr. Marshall provided insights into the projections for the winter 2023/2024 season, highlighting that “We see early indications of strong performance acknowledging, however, the ongoing challenge of managing escalating local operational costs, addressing high airfares as a barrier to increased bookings, and navigating the persistent trend of short booking windows for travelers heading to the destination.”

 Colin C. James CEO the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority highlighted that “Key to our airlift strategy is the need to balance airlift with the growth in room stock and demand for the destination. 

For the 2024, winter season, Antigua and Barbuda will benefit from increased service out of the USA, Canada and the Caribbean. New flights are also expected, with Silver Airways scheduled to begin servicing the destination as of November 16.”

This document enclosed herein highlights the various substantive contributions to the report, including presentations by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, which addresses the anticipated performance of stay-over and cruise arrivals.

It also delves into the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts to educate the next generation of hospitality professionals, the vision of the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute for the sector, and the expectations of the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union for employees within the sector.

State of the Industry Report 2023

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