By the Caribbean Journal staff
Antigua and Barbuda’s cruise sector is seeing a surge in traffic, and officials are “buoyant” about what’s ahead in 2019.
“The 2018 cruise tourism’s performance was an historic achievement,” said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez. “It is the best result in the annals of our history in the cruise tourism business.”
Indeed, Antigua welcomed 792,873 visitors last year.
And with an average spend of $79 per passenger, that represented almost $63 million injected into the destination’s economy last year.
Fernandez said much of the growth could be attributed to the $30 million project to upgrade the port of St John’s back in 2016.
Now, Antigua’s government has signed a memorandum of agreement with Global Ports Holding to negotiate a long-term concession for cruise port operations.
“The agreement will also see the construction of a number of new retail outlets in the project area,” Fernandez said. “Ad GPH will also be investing in the material upgrade of the St. John’s Port including the construction of a new pier that will allow the port to handle Oasis-class ships.”