Calvin Ayre Feels Insulted By All Inclusive Resorts

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Chairman of the Ayre Group, Calvin Ayre

Billionaire Antiguan businessman Calvin Ayre says he is opposed to the “all inclusive” model of tourism in Antigua & Barbuda.

Ayre was at the time speaking about his US$ 100 million investment in a wellness resort retreat at Valley Church Beach which he says will not be all inclusive because he disagrees with that model.

“It will have everything and more but it absolutely won’t be all inclusive,” Ayre told a radio interview alongside Prime Minister Gaston Browne on Saturday.

“I am fundamentally against all inclusives at every level, I think they are horrible experiences and I think they are bad for Antigua,” Ayre said.

He added, “I find them insulting as an Antiguan when I try to go use one of them and they say no to me.”

Speaking of his own resort the businessman said, “what I would like to do there is create a wellness community…the idea would be to bring people in here and introduce them to Antigua and have a fully functioning wellness retreat resort.”

He said once completed it will be the best in the Caribbean.

“The way I am anticipating doing it is going to be much more extreme on the medical wellness side of it more than anything that’s in the region. It will be unique in the whole region,” Ayre the Chairman of the Ayre Group said.

Apart from the resort the billionaire says he wants to bring other investments into Antigua & Barbuda in the future.

“Unfortunately some of my plans are immature so I can’t get into them right now but I do want to be part of creating some of the solutions to make the problems from the pandemic,” he said.

Ayre said COVID-19 has given Antigua & Barbuda and opportunity to diversify the economy.

“I think on the tourism side the low-end tourism is not going to come back all that quickly and this is an opportunity to reset Antigua with no risk because the risk is upon us already by the pandemic.”

Prime Minister Gaston Browne says he accepts the recommendation to diversify not only tourism but other sectors.

“And that is something our government is actively pursuing.”

26 COMMENTS

  1. I like Calvin a lot and I am proud to all him my fellow Antigua citizen.

    Yes, we need to diversity Antigua’s economy ASAP – this has needed to be done for decades.

  2. I wish Mr. Ayre would buy out Yida lands including Guiana Island and do what Stanford planned for that area. An ultra, ultra high end Residential community on Guiana Island of the same type as Jumby Bay but even more exclusive ($50M for membership and a real estate lot) with the surrounding natural environment and ecosystem being preserved in its natural state rather than ripped out like Yida is doing. Stanford’s plan was wonderful but he did not last long enough in Antigua to do it.

  3. Agreed 100% with Mr. Ayre I always thought all inclusive hotels hurt Antigua! A guest could come for 7 days and not leave that property. Not venture out and see the beautiful island, visit restaurants outside of the resort etc, that way money is dispersed better through the industry, rather than one hotel.

  4. Which All-inclusive in Antigua would say no to Ayre’s money? That sounds like BS. If any of you had really worked at or visited an all inclusive you would find that every day tons of the tourists leave the resorts for tours and trips.

  5. Probably he think abt buying jolly beach , but I think reading between the lines I believe he and the gov might have already had talks between that line

  6. I agree to Calvin to a point, Antigua is naturally made for high end boutique/lifestyle hotels, but there should be also a place for high end All inclusive, and there should be a cap, no more.
    Remember Calvin all inclusive brought Airlift to Antigua, finally any all inclusive on the island will let you buy A “day pass” many passenger on Cruise line do that on a daily basis.

  7. Well said Mr. Ayre. The push for ALL inclusive was founded on the idea that the island (Jamaiaca) was unsafe hence enclaves needed to be created to protect them. Instead of simply selling a resort we need to get back to selling a A&B experience. Recall the earlier days when St. John’s used to full of stay over tourists . If we allow the all inclusive concept, we essentially shoot ourselves in the foot because the hotel location no longer matters

  8. The same philosophy should be used when dealing with cruise lines. Focus on the more expensive cruise line passengers to replace the lines that come here with thousands of people that either do not come off the ship or when they do spend next to no money. Let’s keep our beautiful island exclusive.

  9. O Canada we stand on ….. for thee. Antigua must speak up for themselves on what they want how many billionaires around the world come to Antigua? Stanford , Trump , India scam artists.
    Let get a few more billionaire from Vegas , China , Russia , Africa then let’s form a opinions Please .

  10. Calvin, Butch S and to big to fail are running the Cabinet.

    So what if you have money…..obviously we have something that is more valuable than your money.

    Hence the reason you are here.

    It’s time politicians realize that our resources are more valuable than money and start the negotiations from that angle.

    If he do not like all inclusive it’s ok if he leaves and if he wants to stay that’s ok too but stop criticizing the very thing that got us to this point.

    Calvin is not tied here. He can feel free to go wherever has the type of hotels that he likes.

    Antigua will be just fine with or without his money

  11. Everyone complaining about Mr. Ayre should get their heads out of their asses and see the value in what he’s saying. He’s simply saying we need to create a uniquely Antiguan experience. Instead of guests staying in the hotel where all the money is contained, they’ll be forced to venture out, brining their money with them and creating revenue for local business owners. Stop watching how much money he has and whatever minor deals he’s making with the government and start realizing the wisdom in his words and the overwhelming good he’s doing for this country via his generous donations.

    • You seem to forget that in those hotels you talking 99% are Antiguan and those salaries still benefit Antigua economy, those salaries have bought houses, cars, sent kids to school. Those hotels that all of a sudden everybody is demonizing pay taxes contributing to the nations budget, generate induced economy from suppliers, imports and so on, over the years as contributed to put Antigua on a world stage and as brought massive Air Lift to the island, I don’t understand why the next milionarie speaks up slandering what has been built in decades, everybody is cheering is like admitting that Antiguans are not good and haven’t done anything constructive, and they need the next Messiah to come and tell them what to do or think.
      With all due respect mr Ayre wouldn’t be “billionaire” if it wasn’t for Antigua is time that someone reminds him that!

    • You seem to forget that in those hotels you talking 99% are Antiguan and those salaries still benefit Antigua economy, those salaries have bought houses, cars, sent kids to school. Those hotels that all of a sudden everybody is demonizing pay taxes contributing to the nations budget, generate induced economy from suppliers, imports and so on, over the years has contributed to put Antigua on a world stage and has brought massive Air Lift to the island, I don’t understand why the next milionarie speaks up slandering what has been built in decades, everybody is cheering is like admitting that Antiguans are not good and haven’t done anything constructive, and they need the next Messiah to come and tell them what to do or think.
      With all due respect mr Ayre wouldn’t be “billionaire” if it wasn’t for Antigua is time that someone reminds him that!

  12. I totally agree with Mr. Calvin Ayre. My opinion. This all inclusive resorts been hurting Antigua & Barbuda 🇦🇬 long time because we don’t get a piece of the pie, from airport to the hotel, to the tours which are not owned by locals and then back on a flight is not contributing enough. People there are many way this tourism market can work for us rather than have them confined to an all inclusive resort. If tourism is our main industry then we need to make some changes to really benefit locals outside of the hotels.

  13. I guess Allan Stanford mess didn’t teach Antiguans a lesson, we love white people money so much that any cowboy ride into town gets the red carpet. The new Allen Stanford knows the greedy renegades in the Labour Party they will even sell them mother.

    • Nothing is wrong with all inclusive Hotels if he wants to open the opposite then he can go right ahead or is his pocket shallower than we think or he doesn’t like competition
      I don’t know I’m just saying

  14. Article says Valley Church Beach, but isn’t it Darkwood Beach he is planning to develop? Re-routing the road around the lake and open up a waterway by Tamarind Hills for boats to enter the lake. Creating something like Jolly Harbour. But smaller.

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