Yachting Boom in Antigua & Barbuda: $200 Million Boost to Tourism Industry

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The tourism industry of Antigua and Barbuda is experiencing a significant boost due to the thriving yachting sector. According to Robert (Bobby) Reis, the Chief Executive Officer of Falmouth Harbour Marina, the yachting industry is now a major contributor to the country’s overall tourism earnings. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHATS APP GROUP

Reis estimates that the yachting sector alone generates around $200 million annually for the nation’s economy.

Additionally, the country’s four other marinas have reported a busy season, indicating a surge in the yachting industry’s popularity among tourists.

“This has been a superb year for the entire yachting sector. I have no complaints about how things are going,” he said.

In Antigua, there are several marinas where yachts dock and enjoy various services.

These marinas include the Antigua Yacht Club, the Catamaran Marina and Boathouse, the Nelson’s Dockyard Marina, the Jolly Harbour Marina, and the Falmouth Harbour Marina.

According to sources, the numbers for the economic impact of these marinas are based on a 1999 report from the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which includes a 2 percent annual increase.

In the case of the Falmouth Harbour Marina, it reportedly spent more than $10 million on fuel from the West Indies Oil Company last year, which was solely for yacht fuel. Moreover, it paid $1.5 million to APUA for utility services.

Beyond these expenses, yachts also spend large sums of money on local services such as supermarkets.

All this expenditure contributes significantly to the local economy, making the marina industry a vital part of Antigua’s tourism industry.

“For example, we are getting a lot more mage-yachts and these vessels carry a large crew to take care of the owners and the vessels themselves,” he said

Adding, “these numbers average in many cases between 30 and 40 persons. They only eat at restaurants when they are in port, and in addition, they will also rent two or three motor vehicles. When you add up these figures spending over a five-month period, the expenditure is quite substantial,”

The yachting industry is a luxurious world where extravagance and opulence are the norm. Fuel and supermarket expenses make up a significant portion of the yachts’ expenditures.

The supermarket manager on the dock hands out discount cards to yacht owners, hoping to entice them to spend more.

One yacht crew reportedly spent an astounding $80,000.00 on groceries in a single day, leading to the supermarket manager’s desire to ensure that others do the same.

The Falmouth Harbour Marina has recently upgraded its facilities at a staggering cost of $7 million. The upgrade includes a new berth that is 535 feet long and can accommodate the largest mega-yachts.

The marina has also invested in the latest fuel-pumping equipment to reduce the time it takes to fill the yachts. The high level of service offered by the marina attracts a high rate of returning yachts each year.

The good news is that the government has recognized yachting’s significant contributions and is willing to take positive steps to ensure the industry’s continued growth and development.

This recognition has pleased industry insiders such as Reis.

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