The hard work and investment of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) and the country’s Ministry of Tourism, have led to double-digit growth in air arrivals from the USA and attracted new properties, including the Marriott global hospitality brand.
At the 2016 Caribbean Travel Awards, the Caribbean Journal recognized these successes and named Colin C. James, the Chief Executive Officer of ABTA, “Caribbean Tourism Director of the Year,” while Asot A. Michael, the Tourism Minister, received the accolade of “Caribbean Minister of the Year.”
The country also copped the award for “Caribbean Destination of the Year.”
The Caribbean Journal, which was founded in 2011, is the first pan-Caribbean newspaper with cutting edge analysis, unmatched original content and on-location videos. The publication has changed the way the Caribbean receives its news, and today is one of the leading publications in the Caribbean market.
Explaining why the country won, the Caribbean Journal said, “It is because of the strong increase in visitors, new hotel projects in the pipeline, as well as the new V.C. Bird International Airport that only add to the full portfolio of properties and hotels.”
Minister Michael was recognised as being one of “the Caribbean’s most forward-thinking Tourism Ministers” and being instrumental in helping to drive Antigua and Barbuda’s strong growth this year, as well as turning the nation into a hub for hotel projects and other major projects, such as the airport’s new solar farm.
“I am incredibly honoured to be named the Tourism Minister of the Year by the Caribbean Journal,” Michael said. “Since taking office in 2014, we have been relentlessly working to attract investments, investing in improving our on-island tourism products as well as access touch points, including our new airport and our Port so as to become the leader in the region. While we are excited by what we have achieved so far, we are dedicated to continuing to invest, improve and raise awareness of Antigua and Barbuda to attract even more visitors and provide them the absolutely best experience possible in travel.”
James, coveted his win for “being instrumental in managing the Tourism Authority to the strong position it has today with almost 10 percent growth overall and 20 percent within the US, the largest market for the destination.”
James shared his thoughts on the win: “We are very proud to be recognised for all of the hard work and dedication that the Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority have been investing, to turn our twin-isles into the regional tourism leader.
“I am proud of this recognition, which is accepted on behalf of all our tourism teams, both on island and in the source markets, [which] have worked tirelessly to achieve the positive growth that we are seeing.”
These awards bring great prominence to Antigua and Barbuda, positioning the destination as the tourism leader in the industry for the upcoming year. •