WIC: Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party promised the upliftment of the tourism sector and announced plans and programmes for the tourism next level, jobs and empowerment in their manifesto launched for January 18, general elections.
Read Here: Full statement of ABLP on Tourism in Manifesto 2023
The vision for Tourism at the next Authority will be charged with higher level extends way into future. Aware that tourism requires planning not just for the immediate but also for the medium term, the ABLP administration has worked out a plan, starting the day after the electorate has spoken on January 18th 2023 the date of the general elections.
To achieve this objective, the ABLP administration will work closely with its private sector partners, particularly Global Port Holdings, on the development of the Harbourfront. Global Ports will spend at least US$100 million on the shops, restaurants, boardwalks, and entertainment facilities including an amphitheatre – all of which are available to Antiguans and Barbudans to operate. There will also be a world-class terminal building, a casino, and a spa.
The objective of this plan is to create more jobs and better-paying jobs. It is also to allow Antiguans and Barbudans to empower themselves by taking advantage of the many ownership opportunities in the provision of ancillary services, that will be presented by the major projects which will be implemented.
GOVERNMENT WILL OFFER LOCALS 25% OF THE CAPITAL TO START
Construction of a yacht marina in the St. John’s Harbour, will also be encouraged, and local entrepreneurs can invest in its development and operation as owners. The ABLP government will assist local business ownership through its Venture Capital Fund by putting up 25% of the capital, to help potential owners raise a mortgage from the banks. While government will retain equity in the business to facilitate borrowing and start-up, the owners can buy out the government’s shares, using the dividends from profits.
Government’s role is not to be an owner; it is to facilitate ownership by locals. The ABLP government anticipates that these facilities, especially when they are linked to Cruise Ships, which will use Antigua as their home port, will double the current tourism spend.
ANTIGUA WILL BE A PREMIER DESTINATION FOR CRUISE TOURISM
Cruise tourism will be bolstered by the investment of US$100 million until 2021 by one of the world’s largest cruise, ship companies, Royal Caribbean International (RCI). An agreement had been signed with RCI in March 2019 to establish a Beach Club at Fort James to be utilized by the passengers on their ships, calling at Antigua. The project was deferred because of the COVID-19 pandemic Given the heightened activity of Global Ports Holdings, which has already been responsible for bringing an increased number of larger cruise ships to Antigua, together with RCI, Antigua will become a premier destination for cruise tourism globally.
AIRLIFT HAS ALREADY INCREASED AND WILL EXPAND FURTHER
The great majority of tourists to Antigua and Barbuda’s record-breaking year arrive by in stay-over arrivals. Maintaining close relations with all airlines is, therefore, essential to growing the tourism industry and taking it to the next higher level.
The ABLP will ensure that marketing strategies and policies are pursued and implemented to increase airlift to fill the rooms that will come on stream as new hotels and resorts are built in Antigua and Barbuda.
NEW HOTELS AND RESORTS
The ABLP has attracted investment in several new hotels and resorts that will catapult Antigua and Barbuda’s rise to the next higher level. These
- An investment of $773 million by Robert De Niro and James Packer in a new resort to be built on the old K Club Resort site, complementing the Caribbean’s only Nobu restaurant located on Barbuda.
- Moon Gate Antigua: a 49-suite all-inclusive boutique hotel and spa at Half Moon Bay.
- The Peace Love & Happiness (PLH) Resort will complete its first 60 luxury homes and condominiums on Barbuda in 2023.
- An 18-hole Tom Fazio designed golf course is now nearing completion. Part of the PLH resort, it will be one of the finest golf courses in the entire Caribbean. (Pictures of PLH development /Colf course are shown on this page)
- Nikki Beach: A luxury beach club with residences founded by Jack Penrod will be built on Antigua’s Jolly Beach.
- Royalton Chic: A 350-room luxury 5-star adults-only property will open in November 2023 on Dickenson Bay, replacing the old Halcyon Cove Hotel. (An artist’s impression shows the layout of the property)
- A US$130 million luxury resort in Barbuda at the old Dulcina hotel site. This project is being developed by a group of local and foreign investors.
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