As 2022 comes to a close, Antigua and Barbuda is being recognized for the outstanding work it has done to ensure the success of the tourism industry as it’s seen an incredible rebound – from increased airlift and arrivals to new destinations to running successful marketing campaigns in key markets.
The ‘2023 Caribbean Travel Awards,’ led by the Caribbean Journal, have named the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority the “Caribbean Tourist Board of the Year.”
Antigua and Barbuda was also named “Luxury Destination of the Year,” and Hammock Cove was named as “All-Inclusive of the Year,” while Keyonna Beach Resort was named “Small All-Inclusive of the Year.”
Tourism is back at even greater levels than expected as restrictions were finally lifted and Antigua and Barbuda was more than ready to welcome the crowds back and share why the twin-island nation was at the tops of everyone’s list.
The good news was there is a lot to share from new properties to new excursions and experiences to new dining options. The Caribbean Journal cited the addition of Nobu Barbuda to the growing list of world-class resorts that provided the quintessential essence of upscale and elegant Caribbean hideaway as why they named it “Luxury Destination of the Year”.
The awards have always celebrated individuals excelling in stewardship, but they also realize that tourism is more than just individuals but the teams support tourism. This is why they added “Caribbean Tourist Board of the Year,” as their newest category and recognized the dynamic team of the Tourism Authority for setting the standard in the industry.
As they shared, “the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, which has so expertly navigated the changing travel landscape, leading to record-breaking tourism numbers while masterfully delivering an authentic, truly Antiguan and Barbudan, travel identity, all under the outstanding direction of CEO Colin C. James.”
The Caribbean Journal was founded in 2011 as the first pan-Caribbean newspaper, with cutting-edge analysis, unmatched original content, on-location video, the publication has changed the way the Caribbean gets its news, and is today, one of the leading publications in the Caribbean market.
Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez says he is elated that the dynamic team at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority have been recognized for what they’ve accomplished in a challenging time in our industry by being awarded the very first ‘Caribbean Tourist Board of the Year.
“We’ve always been focused on providing the best-in-class experience to each and every visitor and it’s exciting to see our team and partners being given the praise they deserve. It’s a true honour to have Antigua and Barbuda named luxury destination of the year while sweeping the ‘All-inclusive’ categories with Hammock Cove and Keyonna,” he said
He added, “the awards come at an excellent time as we’ve been celebrating our industry and incredible people through Tourism Week. These awards only endorse our efforts and helps us close out our week of events on a high note. Together, we’re well-positioned for another banner year of tourism in 2023!”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority congratulated the team, saying that they worked very hard in moving towards ABTA’s Vision 2025 of Antigua and Barbuda being the most recognized destination worldwide.
“No vision is too big once we are all aligned and determined to harness our extensive global partnerships, actively creating synergies. Through the ongoing support of the team with training, coaching, and leadership development, we look forward to advancing towards our goal of being the preferred and best-in-class tourism organization among our industry partners,”
And Chief Executive Office of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James also added his voice to the congratulatory remarks, saying that he is “incredibly honoured to have the hard work, passion and enthusiasm of the ABTA team recognized by the Caribbean Journal. The past two years have been an unprecedented time in the world, and I have seen how every person has shown up every day to make a difference. We’ve been able to share the story of Antigua and Barbuda far and wide with visitors and our partners. It’s why we’re seeing record-breaking levels of visitors, as we were at the top of travellers’ lists of places to visit once restrictions were removed and are looking at breaking even more records in the upcoming year,”.
This year saw a lot of growth with over 13 new properties, excursions and dining experiences opening to visitors along with the official opening of the 5th Berth in St John’s.
Stayover arrivals and occupancy rates increased – supported by increased airlift from the US, Canada and UK – while the 2022/2013 yachting and cruise season is seeing a full agenda that includes multiple dates with all piers being used.
As the year comes to a close, there’s a lot to look forward to in the upcoming year with new property openings on the horizon including Moon Gate, Peace Love & Happiness Resort and Nikki Beach.
The future looks bright as the vision for the tourism industry in 2023 will be built on the tenets of sustainability and authentic local experiences with a packed year-round events calendar.