Antigua records massive spike in visitors from Canada-Fernandez


Tourism Minister Charles Max Fernandez has said that Canadian visitors to Antigua & Barbuda grew by more than 71 per cent so far for 2018.

The minister made this disclosure while addressing a trip advisor training session here this week.

He did not give reasons for the increase nor did the minister provide a specific number of arrivals.

However, Fernandez told tourism workers that figures for 2018 point toward continued positive momentum.

“Thus far, we’ve seen an overall increase of +5.39% to Antigua and Barbuda with +1% increase from the US and an astounding 71.14% from Canada,” he said.

According to him, the Industry had its best year ever at the end of 2017. He said despite an overall decrease in visitors to the Caribbean for 2017, Antigua and Barbuda experienced a milestone year in tourism for 2017 as twin-island nation welcomed over 1 Million visitors.

“We are using this new boost in investment by channeling it in to our infrastructure and tourism product. All of our products, investments and enhancements ultimately add value and improve the customer experience,” he added.

The tourism minister said VC Bird International Airport is helping to attract more airlift and “cement our status as the leading airport hub in the Eastern Caribbean.”

“For North America, one of our key markets, we will be exponentially increasing our airlift with an additional daily flight from Miami with American, a new JFK flight with Delta, as well as an early start to the Atlanta service that will commence before Thanksgiving,” he reported.

Fernandez promised the opening a third pier in the beginning of the year that will accommodate the OASIS class ships.

He said over the next few years there will be a “total transformation” of the port facilities and downtown St. John’s.

This development will include world-class casinos, cafes and restaurants, hotels, condominiums, and high-end designer shops for even more duty-free shopping.


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  1. It has to do with decriminalization of 15 grams of marijuana……so nothing about no dam infrastructure lol

  2. Weed smoking bad weed, I guess Weed not following Canadian news. Prior to Antigua’s decriminalization, Canada had provisional use of cannabis as a medical drug. It was very easy to obtain a card. I don’t see why Canadians would come to Antigua to buy garbage while having it there at their door steps in forms that Antigua is yet to have. They are also just around the corner from full legalization.
    The increase in tourism in Antigua from that region is accredited to the ministry of tourism and their continued efforts to attract visitors to our twin island state. Give credit where credit is due.

  3. The amazing increase in Canadian visitors is primarily the SUNWING special. Travel and accomodations to Antigua from Canada have never been this low. My ex mother-in-law called me to say there is a special from Edmonton to Antigua for ONLY $1,700. Years ago, that was the cost of the ticket only. Yes…SUNWING ah do it.
    The next big thing is to make Antigua exciting and fun for these visitors. Our entertainment package is still unacceptable. Whereas recreational weed is the “icing on the cake” for some, the cake needs more ingredients. That is another discussion. In the mean time, BIG UP to SUNWING…

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