Tourism in Antigua and Barbuda is breaking all-time records, buoyed by a surge in visits from the United States, Caribbean Journal has learned.
The surge has made the country one of the hottest destinations in the Caribbean, particularly in the summer of 2022.
And the growth was driven by a significant increase in visitors from the United States, officials said.
Antigua and Barbuda welcomed 24,673 visitors to the destination, representing a 7 percent increase over the same month in 2019, before the pandemic — which had itself been a record for the month.
“For a second year, we are experiencing a healthy summer season as consumer travel confidence grows and travelers make the decision to take that long-awaited vacation or previously delayed trip,” said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez.
Indeed, 13,305 of the tourists visiting the twin-island destination last month were from the US, a 30 percent jump compared to July 2019.
Antigua and Barbuda is also seeing strong growth from the United Kingdom market, with a 5 percent increase in UK visits over the same period in 2019.
Canadian arrivals showed a 1 percent increase over 2019.
Last month, just under 9,700 visitors stayed in hotels, while just under 11,500 visitors stayed in villas and guest houses.
“Antigua and Barbuda is presently listed amongst the top ten Caribbean destinations leading the Caribbean tourism recovery efforts,” said Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. ““With good month-on-month growth and our overall tourism arrivals for the year to date only 16% less than the 2019 figures, Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism rebound prospects are looking positive, particularly when we consider global tourism forecasts. For the Fall, our teams will continue to focus on closing the gap and achieving full recovery.”
For the first half of the year, visitor arrivals stood at 154,099, a 16 percent “narrowing of the gap” of the same period in 2019.
That’s one of the strongest tourism recoveries in the Caribbean since the onset of the pandemic.