As the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) annual Caribbean Travel Marketplace came to a close in Puerto Rico today, tourism news from Antigua and Barbuda was a top trending topic. Over the past three days, Executives from the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority met with scores of international tour operators and travel business leaders to discuss happenings, resort updates and conduct business to entice more visitors to holiday in the destination. Additionally, the tourism team hosted a media briefing attended by international media, who were all eager to learn more and get updates about Antigua and Barbuda.
“This year’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace truly put the spotlight on Antigua and Barbuda and all the exciting developments we have happening on-island that continue to grow our award-winning tourism product,” shared Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “It was wonderful showcasing our world-class destination, and we look forward to increased visitation and much success in 2018.”
During the press briefing, one of the highlights that had everyone in the room smiling and legs tapping was the airing of the Reggae pop band, UB40 video, “Come Back Darling.” Filmed exclusively on Antigua, it travels from the panoramic Shirley Heights viewpoint to the beautiful yachts in English Harbour, showcasing the best the island has to offer.
Another major announcement coming out of the meetings with US tour operator partners was the welcome news of an increase in JetBlue service to the destination later this year, with the addition of a new weekday flight. This additional lift will now provide the destination with four non-stop flights per week, due to the strong demand for Antigua and Barbuda.
Also noted was the trend of strong growth in visitor arrivals from Canada, which grew by 8% in 2017 and is set to continue in 2018, as a direct result of the new service from the Sunwing Travel Group.
Conference attendees also showed great interest in attending the Antigua & Barbuda Hotel Showcase to be held in Antigua on June 14th, 2018.
Close to 500 supplier delegates from more than 200 companies across 30 countries joined another 100-plus media representatives at this year’s event. More than 200 delegates from close to 100 buyer companies, 19 of which are new to the conference, including four new MICE companies (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), have registered. Buyer companies hail from Argentina, the Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.
This year’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace is produced by CHTA in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Convention Center District Authority, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Meet Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association.