By Dana Niland
Antigua hoteliers are reporting a booming start to the new year, calling it “the best hotel season in years.”
The news comes after Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez and CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James met recently with the executives of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association for a roundtable meeting this week.
The quarterly forum is an opportunity for the minister to hear from key private sector partners within the sector, as well as to share the government’s vision and strategy for the industry.
At the meeting, parties discussed strong air arrivals and hotel occupancy figures that almost all hotels are enjoying this season.
“This winter season has been the best that the property has seen for the past ten years,” said Gary Randall, owner of the Blue Waters hotel.
The AHTA partners pointed to the significance of the Tourism Authority’s quickly implementing the “Antigua is open for business” marketing campaign after Hurricane Irma, pointing to the part it played in the growth of visitor arrivals.
“This meeting is an example of the close private/public sector partnership that I will foster with all Tourism stakeholders to continue grow our critical tourism industry to the benefit of all Antiguans and Barbudans,” Fernandez said. “Tourism is on the move with unprecedented growth, and the feedback that I have received from this session confirms the confidence of our private sector partners in the efforts of the government in the area of tourism.”