Antigua and Barbuda ready for Cruise Season – officials

L-R Monts Premier Donald Romeo, Ps Christopher, Tracey Guerrero, Michelle Sutty, Hon. Charles Fernandez

Tourism Officials say it’s full steam ahead for Antigua and Barbuda’s Cruise Tourism sector for the upcoming 2018/2019 season.

Minister of Tourism and Investment the Charles Fernandez reports on his return from the recently concluded Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference and Trade Show that the Antiguan and Barbudan delegation met with the executives of major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norweigan, The Carnival Corporation, RegentSeven Seas, and Disney in a quest to secure increased calls and visitor spend.

In meeting with President of the FCCA Michelle Paige, it was noted that keen attention must be paid to the Antiguan and Barbudan product offering, ensuring that it is unique, authentic and attractive to the thousands of passengers that traverse the Caribbean islands which have a common culture prior to arrival at the ports of St. John’s.

According to Minister Fernandez Ms. Paige as well as other Cruise Line Executives are quite excited about the advent of the Fort James Development Project which will catapult the product experience for Cruise passengers to one of the region’s premier.

The results of the Brea Cruise Economic Impact Study also held good news for Antigua and Barbuda signaling that cruise passenger expenditure has increased from $64.88 US per passenger to $73.55 US over the past three years.

Passenger and crew visits along with additional cruise line expenditures generated $77.7 million US from May 1st 2017 to April 30th2018. The survey was conducted on board ships of the FCCA member cruise lines.

Authorities are looking at the increase in passenger spend as quite encouraging, however a concerted effort is being made towards having this number elevated to at $100.00 per passenger by 2021.

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