Delegation Attends Largest Tourism Event

 Delegation Attends Largest Tourism EventAntigua St. John's - Antigua & Barbuda tourism officials recently participated in another successful showcasing of the destination during ITB Berlin. The event, held from March 5 – 10, is the largest gathering of travel and tourism officials in the world.

The delegation, led by CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Colin C James, included Neil Forester, president of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel and Tourist Association, Cherrie Osborne - Antigua and Barbuda’s Director of Tourism for UK and Europe, and Antigua & Barbuda’s Honourary Counsel in Germany, Dr Werner Giersch.

Local hotel partners such as Jolly Beach, Carlisle Bay, Blue Waters, Sugar Ridge, and Hermitage Bay were also present to jointly support this European marketing effort. The teams conducted a packed schedule of successful meetings with European-based tourism executives and airlines.

The destination has set its sights on making greater inroads into the European market, and as part of a group of eight destinations, along with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), ensured the region was adequately represented at this year’s event. James said, “The main challenge that we face at the moment is securing adequate airlift to ensure same day connections into the destination from continental Europe.”

With Antigua & Barbuda and the rest of the Caribbean facing increased competition from other global tourism regions, and a challenging marketplace, growing the European market is an opportunity to extend our reach and drive new business to the destination, he added.

In a meeting with Herwig Oberhuber, director of planning for Condor, he confirmed that Antigua & Barbuda has the strongest yield in the Eastern Caribbean during this current winter season, and Condor now agreed that the Thomas Cook flights from Manchester which started last December will return with an earlier start in November for the next winter season, along with the Condor direct charter flight from Frankfurt, Germany.

Newly-appointed Director of Tourism for the UK and Europe Cherrie Osborne said, “Our main objective at ITB was to reintroduce the destination to specific operators such as Meires Weltreisen, Dertour, and TUI, whose business to Antigua has been growing steadily.”

The Antigua & Barbuda team participated in a series of media interviews, including CTO travel news. ITB also gave the destination an opportunity to update its European tourism partners on the plans for the New VC Bird Airport Terminal scheduled to be opened later this year as well as the latest activities, hotel developments, and prospects for tourism in Antigua and Barbuda.

The attendance at ITB in Berlin, which sits at the heart of Europe, is particularly strategic to the country’s tourism industry. It is reputed that the number of Germans per population who travel abroad is the highest percentage of any nationality that travels outside of their home country for vacations.

ITB Berlin 2014 attracted over 10,000 exhibitors and 100,000 trade visitors on the first three business-to-business meeting days. The event, which also includes two final days on the weekend where the travel fair convention is open to the general public, presented Antigua & Barbuda with a not-to-be missed opportunities to meet the German consumers, to network with its European tourism partners, and to conduct valuable business negotiations.

Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

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2 Comments In This Article   


We can't sell ourselves before we clean our streets!

#2 Dig It » 2014-03-13 08:32

Our tourism officials home and abroad must realize that any effort to promote our tourism brand...must start with our efforts to curb or stop crime. How do they answer that question to those partners or stakeholders at the event? As a concerned citizen, I want to see the brand do its best and the idea by Chief Servant and others that the brand "will sell itself" is totally absurd! Perhaps, James, Forester, and the Joker MP can tell us why A&B is one of the "priciest destinations, for travelers with deeper pockets" to the Caribbean? According to latest article...."the average cost of round-trip airfare from the continental U.S., a seven-night hotel stay, six dinners and a half-day snorkeling excursion" in Antigua is $7,972.
With the rate we are going, we may toppled St. Barthelemy as the most priciest destination to the region.

Dig It

Hotel standards

#1 Watching » 2014-03-13 05:08

Hotels like Jolly Beach, Royal Antiguan Rex Halcyon and Hawksbill should be banned from promoting themselves anywhere, and be asked to either renovate and upgrade or be closed by the authorities. All these hotels sit on prime beaches and are doing a disservice to the Antigua & Barbuda tourism product.


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