Antigua and Barbuda on track to set cruise, overnight tourism record

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5 Cruise ships in St. John's Harbour

Antigua and Barbuda is on course to break tourist arrival records in 2023 and confirm the recovery of the country’s economic mainstay in the aftermath of the pandemic.

According to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, reports suggest that 2023 will be a bumper year for the tourism industry with positive benefits overall for Antigua and Barbuda’s economy. “I am told that for 2023, the cruise sector will be so strong that we will exceed the record breaking year 2019.

“The same is true for overnight visitors; those numbers are set to eclipse those of 2018. In fact, the port itself is on a trajectory to break the record year of business activity it achieved back in 2018,” PM Browne said over the weekend.

The prime minister continued that these projections augur well for Antigua and Barbuda’s economic outlook in 2023. “I am pretty sure that, barring Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda will have the strongest growing economy in the Caribbean next year in this the post-COVID era,” he stated.

Already, cruise arrivals for 2022 have surpassed 2021 when the world was still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far this year, a total of 184,108 cruise visitors have been welcomed to Antigua and Barbuda, a significant increase over 2021’s 86,215.

Stayover visits have also improved with an increase in the month-to-month arrivals reported by the Ministry of Tourism.

Bolstering optimism in the industry, according to Prime Minister Browne, is the fact that the country’s room stock will soon receive a boost with the reopening of Jolly Beach this December and the Royalton Chic, formerly Halcyon Cove, by the last quarter of 2023.

He said the demand for Antigua and Barbuda as a tourist destination remains high in the global marketplace, however, this has at times been negatively affected by an inadequate supply of hotel rooms. -POINTE XPRESS

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16 COMMENTS

  1. How many times are we going to hear THIS. Sick and tired of Minister Fernandez and his happy talk.
    Yes, the man who got 6 million from the tax-payers!
    In the meantime, pension still late!
    SMH

  2. All this wonderful news on how well our tourism is doing, and the predictions for the upcoming winter season, yet the UPP is preaching doom and gloom. And when the growth of the economy is showing increases year after year, they say well no one is feeling it. It’s so sad with these guys. They are like Chicken Little going around screaming how the sky is falling.

    • Wonderful News,you say .Really? I am predicting that it is going to Snow in Antigua this Winter Season. Does that means,it is really going to Snow. You surely can sing until your throat gets tight.

    • @ From The Sideline Fu you lips and mouth must be brown a rass from kissing and sucking Gaston battom.

      I wonder if you does give your wife and daughter for Gaston to play with too. Well if it work for you, you must be happy.

  3. @ My friend Mr Sidelines.
    I am hungry and I cannot pay my bills and my gas is running low. This is a real issue.
    Please forgive me if I am not throwing the confetti.

  4. Has anybody explained the cost of living crisis to your man Gaston. You can count UK numbers down so God only knows where the rest of these people will appear from.
    I think the honerable Mr Brown needs to get out more. I Will however be back next year.

    • Happy talk, happy talk, happy talk. In the meantime, people are suffering no hell. We were suppose to get the Oasis ships. Oppps big stone in the ocean, no Oasis ship.
      Just talk, talk, talk.
      Fed up, now

  5. That is indeed great news! Tourism is a money conveyor, money coming into the country equals opportunity, jobs and a better society.

  6. Lots of money to be made for the Lessee of the Cruise Port,GLOBAL PORTS. How much money is the Administration collecting from Global Ports. You folks need to go back and read the 30 Years plus,Lease Agreement between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and Global Ports.See who would be the real beneficiaries of those CRUISE TOURISMS, $$$$$$ in GLOBAL PORTS COFFERS.

    • GET RID A DEM WICKED WICKED LABOUR PARTY ENRICHING MINISTERS.

      BLACKMAN THERE IS MORE IN THE MORTAR THAN THE PESTLE, THERE HAS TO BE SOME ‘ENRICHMENT’ ASPECT TO THIS AGREEMENT

    • Oh yes, I remember they paid off the US$20M loan at ACB. That is to their benefit. And they put money in the entrepreneurial fund. That’s to their benefit. And they will be spending US$25million to build new shops around the Quay and renovate Heritage Quay. All of that is to their benefit. And then they need to pay us our Passenger’s Head Tax of US$5.00 per passenger. And All of that while for the past two years not one cruise ship was able to dock here because of Covid. All those benefits will they reap. While we just wait for them to bring tourists and collect our Passenger’s Head Tax and Environmental Levy. You know you guys are so inept, you just cannot think straight and think business.

  7. All of this optimism won’t cut it. What is the real deal with Jolly Beach? We want performance not mere promises. We are tired of the Big Talk but Little Accomplishments!!

  8. Do all these cruise ships that use the port need Antigua’s water to refill there tanks on board?
    If so where will they get the water?
    Will they shut off supply to locals while they fill up ships.

  9. Congratulations to Mr. Gaston Browne and his Government for stearing the ship of state successfully through COVID19 pandemic and now looking forward to brighter times.

    The most important ABLP successes during their current term in office from my vantage point are as follows:

    1. The ABLP, from an economic stand point, was able to maintain Antigua and Barbuda’s level of population during COVID19 at approximately 100,000, and not having to send back home CARICOM citizens residing here.

    2. The ABLP did not lay off public servants and was able to keep their salaries paid promptly up-to-date. My daughter received her salary for October, 2022 yesterday, and immediately went happily to the supermarket.

    3. As I went into St. John’s to the bank yesterday, I could see people on the move with a happy ambience on their faces, in significant contrast to the latter years of the last United Progressive Party (UPP) Government, when I took good notice of people walking about St. John’s with lean and drawn faces, and I could see that many people were actually starving in Antigua and Barbuda. I know that people could not wait for the 2014 General Election to come to vote them out.

    4. The ABLP must not allow a foreign entity to take over the Jolly Beach Hotel. Jolly Beach Hotel must be placed on the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange (ECSE), and be owned (100%) and operated by citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda.

    5. The same goes for the Royal Antiguan Hotel, which must be repossessed (100%) by citizens and residents of Antigua and Barbuda.

    6. When it comes to the LIAT (1974) Limited issue, the best way to solve it is not to start up a new LIAT, but rather to reactivate the old LIAT (1974)Lid by calling back out the workers, and not paying immediately, but accruing the severance liability of those workers who are not returning to the Company’s employment.

    Should the United Progressive Party (UPP) be successful at the upcoming General Election what exactly are they offering Antigua and Barbuda:

    1. Reduction of Consumption Tax on some regularly used price controlled food items like rice, flour, saltfish, pig mouth and more.

    As I have strenuously tried to explain to the UPP in the past: because those items are price controlled, while such a move will, in fact, reduce prices to the consumer, all businesses distributing price controlled food items will suffer a reduction of net profits and all such distributors, especially the smaller ones, will either go out of business, or, at least, be forced to lay off workers.

    The UPP, despite being advised against the plan, is persisting with it, on the assumption that because the price falls people will buy more. But, because we are talking about basic food items, aggregate demand will not increase unless there is an increase in population of the country. So, indeed, many food distributors will be doomed.

    It was exactly the same policy that the last UPP Government pursued that caused the demise of Bryson’s Food Emporium (Food City) and Bargain Center Supermarket.

    2. A new UPP Government will also abolish the Unincorporated Business Tax. This means that if you register a Company to operate your business you will be subject to tax, but if you go into business as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership (i.e. in your own name /names) you pay no tax.

    Now, what’s the difference if you are doing business as a Proprietorship versus Company, why one mood of operation should pay tax, but the other don’t?

    If the UPP wins the next General Election and do this the Inland Revenue Department will not have enough work to do, and most of the IRD staff will have to be laid off, not so?

    In the United Kingdom (UK) recently, the Lizz Truss Government had a similar plan to roll back taxes not knowing that they would have to pay for such tax giveaways. Her Prime Minister Ship only lasted for forty five (45) days before she was forced to resign on principle.

    Well, I guess that our governments don’t operate on any principle, so if we get caught in UPP’s net, we are going to be stuck for five (5) years.

    As far as I can see, the UPP has no viable plan for our country, and we would all be better off if Mr. Harold Lovell and his Fifteen (15) Stooges remain where they are, and allow the ABLP to continue running our country for another five (5) years.

    PS: It’s ok, anybody can criticize me, if they want.

  10. 6. Correction:

    The Government should pay immediately, or as soon as possible, the severance of those workers who are not returning to work with LIAT (1974) ltd, but should accrue in the Company’s accounts the severance liability due to all workers who return to work with LIAT (1974) Ltd immediately they are called out.

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