SIDS4 Conference to Inject Millions into Antigua and Barbuda Economy

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The upcoming SIDS4 Conference is set to bring significant economic benefits to Antigua and Barbuda over the next five days.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne emphasized the financial impact during a recent statement, highlighting the influx of approximately 5,000 delegates expected to attend the event.

“With 5,000 individuals descending on the shores of Antigua and Barbuda, and if we assume that for accommodation and food, they spend at least $2,000 per person, that’s about $10 million USD,” Prime Minister Browne stated.

“They will also contribute through various expenditures such as buying gifts and paying head tax on their tickets, which could add around $1.4 million USD to the airport authority.”

The Prime Minister also outlined the broader economic impact, including government tax revenues.

“If the total spend is around $30 million, and we get 17% of that in taxes, that’s just over $5.1 million EC for the government in a five-day period.”

The conference, focused on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), has generated substantial interest, with reservations now reaching 5,000.

Initially, there were concerns about accommodating such a large number of delegates, leading to considerations of renting a cruise ship. However, the decision was made to utilize local Airbnb properties, providing a direct economic boost to local residents.

“I’ve met a number of delegates staying in Airbnb properties across the island, and they’ve indicated they’re very comfortable,” Browne shared.

“This decision means local Antiguans and Barbudans will benefit directly from the SIDS program by renting their properties to the delegates.”

The economic ripple effect extends beyond accommodation. Taxi operators and other service providers at the airport and throughout the island are expected to see a significant increase in business.

“Imagine the spin-off for the taxi men at the airport and across the island. The increased traffic will lead to more earnings, contributing to the overall economic stimulation,” Browne added.

Prime Minister Browne by expressed confidence that the investment in preparing for the SIDS4 Conference will be fully recovered through the increased economic activity and tax revenues generated by the event.

The anticipated influx of delegates and their expenditures will provide a much-needed boost to the local economy, reinforcing the value of hosting international conferences in Antigua and Barbuda.

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