The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA), has just concluded a successful week of marketing and media activations in Toronto Canada.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James joined Canada’s Director of Tourism (ag) Tameka Wharton and the other members of the ABTA Canadian team to support their efforts on an intense 4 days of broad media and trade promotions.
This was planned with a focus on strengthening partnerships, reaffirming Antigua and Barbuda’s affection and commitment for the Canadian market, while simultaneously exposing the destination to a huge swathe of Canadian consumers.
James attended a series of special events and met with key representatives from the travel industry who all reported strong growth in business to Antigua and Barbuda as a direct result of the sterling marketing efforts of the ABTA Team in Canada.
“It was a distinct pleasure to once again return to Canada for what turned out to be an incredible week, filled with both familiar faces and new friends,” said the Tourism Authority CEO.
“Canada continues to be one of Antigua and Barbuda’s most important markets, and I was pleased to have the opportunity to share all of the exciting news coming out of our destination as we look ahead to a strong Winter travel season.”
The week’s activities included attending important meetings with key tour operators like Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing, TravelBrands and WestJet.
This winter will see flights returning to pre–pandemic levels with a flight from Canada every day of the week during the busy winter season.
The destination also announced its new strategic partnership with Ensemble, a major travel consortium with decades of experience and thousands of travel advisors throughout Canada and the US.
This arrangement provides Antigua and Barbuda with a new marketing channel that is a direct fit with its high-end properties.
An engaging fireside chat event, jointly hosted by the ABTA and Ensemble drew media and attendees from diverse stakeholder groups, including trade professionals, agency owners, and travel advisors.
CEO James was consistent in his messaging at each appearance, highlighting the robust calendar of events that make up Antigua and Barbuda’s ongoing ‘Year of Wellness’.
Speaking to the latest statistics, James noted that 2023 visitor arrivals from Canada had already reached 17,780 by the end of June – eclipsing 2022’s figure by 164% percent and representing a return to near pre-pandemic levels.
Incredibly, Canada’s year to date (YTD) growth was over 100 per cent higher than the next closest market, speaking to the exploding popularity of the destination with Canadians.
Notably, James was also interviewed live on the breakfast show of CP24, which is Canada’s premier English language speciality news channel with an audience of over one million viewers each day.
Other media interviews were held with Jewel 88.5 FM, MNI Media, Dreamscapes as well as travel trade publications such as Canadian Travel Press, Open Jaw, Travelweek and Travel Industry Today.
Every opportunity was used to share the many virtues of Antigua and Barbuda and a few exciting announcements of the new or renovated hotel product for the upcoming season and the exciting events on the tourism calendar for 2024.
The destination’s new “And” campaign, which espoused Antigua and Barbuda’s unique selling point: the distinct charms of both islands, coming together into one cohesive experience was widely promoted and well received.
CEO James also took pride in sharing the remarkable accomplishment of the recent Virgin Galactic space launch, which saw an Antiguan and Barbudan mother-daughter duo become the first people of Caribbean origin and Antigua and Barbuda nationals to visit space.
This feat as well as the amazing rowing accomplishments of the Team Antigua Island Girls has put an unprecedented media spotlight on the destination.
The ABTA Canadian team is committed to continue building on the momentum and the growth experienced so far this year, which from all indications is on track for delivering a strong result form our 3rd largest source market by year end.
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