Antigua & Barbuda Tourism CEO declares country a safe destination


Antigua and Barbuda continues to be a safe destination for tourists, according to Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. 

During his remarks at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, on May 22, James emphasized the nation’s low crime rates and the commitment to safety in local businesses.

Tourism and safety metrics

Despite a small number of incidents, Antigua and Barbuda maintains its reputation as a secure travel choice. The country recorded five murders in the year, all involving local individuals. 

This comes in contrast to travel advisories issued by the U.S. Government against other Caribbean nations like Jamaica, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago due to concerns over rising crime levels. 

However, tourism in those regions has shown resilience, with visitor numbers bouncing back quickly after initial declines.

Regional commitment to safety

At the conference, CHTA President Nicola Madden-Greig highlighted the negligible impact of crime on tourists in the Caribbean.

Data from a Mastercard survey confirmed that the vast majority of visitors felt overwhelmingly safe during their stay. 

Madden-Greig pointed out the strong regional efforts to maintain and boost the Caribbean’s image as a welcoming and secure destination.

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Booming tourism post-COVID-19

The post-pandemic period has seen a significant upturn in tourism for Antigua and Barbuda, with an 11 per cent increase in flights in the first quarter of 2024. 

Over 97,000 tourists arrived by air in this period alone.

Major airlines, including American Airlines, Delta, United Air, WestJet, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic, have upped their service to the island, anticipating continued growth in visitor numbers.

Upcoming events and air service enhancements

The country is gearing up for a bustling year with several major events on the horizon. The Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States will be hosted in St John’s from May 27 to 30, attracting over 3,000 delegates worldwide. 

With most accommodation facilities fully booked, the event is set to be a major success.

Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda will serve as one of the venues for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and the Caribbean Premier League, further showcasing the island’s capacity to host large-scale international events. 

New air services by Sunrise Airways and LIAT are also starting, improving regional connectivity and accessibility.

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  1. As an expert in town field of safety, national security, crime, victimization, law and crime victim advocacy etcetera, the tourism director is wrong. Thinking the inherently dangerous crimes that have been happening and with frequency indicate the country is safe is ignorant or a blatant lie.

    Based on all that has been occurring, no person in the field would utter such words at this time. Incompetence is horrific and deadly here.

  2. What about the the tourists that have been robbed at either knife point or gunpoint.
    Also, many businesses that are victim to armed robberies.
    Comparing other more dangerous islands is not a measure. If that were the case, why not compare to Ukaraine.
    Looking at year over year crime is more representative. Crime is on the increase. This is not the same, safe Antigua anymore.
    These lies are deadly.

  3. Comparing to other countries. Antigua is a safe place. To keep it safer criminals need stiffer penalties for crimes.

  4. With all the break ins, assaults, tourists getting jacked, this clown has the gall to parrot what Steadroy Benjamin has been uttering? That’s the problem with this damn country. Way too many compromised prostitutes, having partaken of the filthy lucre, and compelled to do what they’re told.
    Obviously, this clown is just another delusional plant. How cleverly ALP has positioned such as these to parrot their propaganda and deceptions!

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