Antigua’s government and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority inaugurated an aggressive programme of tourism infrastructure development, including the opening of a new terminal at V.C. Bird International Airport. Promotional campaigns to increase brand visibility aid the tourism market in Antigua and continue to bring in tourists, mostly from the US and UK. Antigua continues to develop relationships with high-end investors, as well as increasing its airline destinations.
Online travel continued to grow in 2015. The Antigua Hotel and Tourism Association trains market players to succeed. AHTA holds training seminars about the various social platforms and how to use them to promote the destination. Social media is increasingly utilised by players and an increasing number of travel agencies have increased their online following, hoping sales will follow.
Major investments have been observed in hotels, with agreements signed for future projects. During the review period, Antigua signed more large-scale hotel development deals than any other country in the Caribbean. One of the most recent was the transformation of the historic Half Moon Bay property. Other hotel and tourism projects are underway in Antigua, including a $200 million project in the Falmouth and Bethesda areas, a $740 million project with Chinese investment firm, Yida, and a $120 million project by a United Arab Emirates investor.
Sustainability and environmental awareness remain priorities for travellers and market players. New hotels focus on sustainable models, such as the fully environmentally sustainable US450 million project to be built on the tip of Barbuda. With a solar farm, this project will set a good example for future sustainable properties in the Caribbean.
The expected forecast for travel in Antigua is positive as promotional campaign efforts pay off. With an increase in direct flights, strong advertising and new infrastructure investments, travel in Antigua is set to continue growing.
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