The twin-island nation’s presence at the recently held Caribbean Travel Marketplace could not be missed in San Juan, as the region’s largest and most significant marketing forum staged by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
The 40th Travel Marketplace, hosted at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, was the first to be held in person since 2020 and it is the premiere annual event to showcase the Caribbean’s offerings, with buys from 14 countries and suppliers from 21 countries and territories gathering for high-impact one-on-one business meetings, knowledge sharing, and networking.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James led a delegation to the major event. He was accompanied by the Executive Director of Antigua Barbuda Hotels & Tourism Association (ABHTA), Patrice Simon.
They were joined by the Director of Tourism, US, Dean Fenton, and Norrell Joseph, US Sales Officer, along with representatives from Elite Islands Resorts, Blue Waters, Hermitage, and Suntours.
James and his team were able to connect in one place with over 30 meetings with suppliers from and met with the top tour operators, airlines, travel agencies, OTAs, and multiple interviews with the media houses, as well as the top travel and trade publications in attendance.
James said the marketplace is the best opportunity to generate last-minute seasonal business while setting the stage for long-term business and enhancing the relationship between Antigua and Barbuda, hoteliers, buying companies, and leaders in the industry.
“Antigua and Barbuda is building on a record-breaking year in arrivals, with increased airlift and exciting growth in the product – including the cruise and yachting industry – and new excursions with a multitude of new properties in the pipeline. Key stakeholders and tour operators from around the globe expressed optimism about the prospects for growth in 2023 and beyond,” he said.
Adding, “after a difficult two years, the tourism industry is seeing the pent-up demand for travel, and we’re delighted to say that Antigua and Barbuda is at the top of the visitor’s list”.
He said Antigua and Barbuda has seen unprecedented numbers in arrivals with air arrivals for the past three months, July to September surpassing air arrivals for the corresponding months in 2019, which was its best year.
“It is important to support this growth by continuing to engage with key stakeholders, forge new business deals, and promote everything the destination offers to businesses and visitors. We’ve been busy at work for the past two years, adding properties, products, and attractions with renovations taking place in many. Travel Marketplace provides the vital opportunity to meet face-to-face with stakeholders from around the world selling Caribbean vacation packages and we are confident more visitors from around the world will be choosing Antigua and Barbuda in 2023,” James said.