For Tourism Sake: Antigua and Barbuda prays for a rapid recovery in the USA, Europe and Canada

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The Government of Antigua and Barbuda says the revival of its tourism is based on the speedy recovery of the major source markets from COVID-19.

Governor General Sir Rodney Williams  told the Throne Speech last week that It is cliché to proclaim tourism to be “our most important economic sector.”

He said since August 1952, when the first Hotels Aid Ordinance law was passed by the Parliament; and, since 1972, when sugar-production collapsed and 300 years of economic history ended, tourism has become our nation’s lifeblood.

All Caribbean countries have benefited greatly from this economic sector, and no place else on earth is known better for its natural beauty and charm than this archipelago of islands known as the Caribbean. That has been our doing, with help from our global partners, he added.

 

He said” the Antigua and Barbuda Governments, over the years, invested billions of dollars to make this product viable. Three new airport terminals, lengthened runways, expanded ports and a Deepwater Harbour, electricity and water desalination plants going back to 1968; modernized telephone and broadband services, paved roads and enhanced infrastructure to ensure access, were costly investments; training and development of the human-resource capabilities, in order to ensure service excellence; the waiver of many taxes as investment incentives, are all our doing. No-one ever imagined that all of these investments could be derailed by an invisible virus. It was inconceivable.”

 

“Precisely for these reasons, my Government’s view of our economic history is that “leadership matters”. Whatever the challenge facing a nation, superb leadership will result in better outcomes than poor leadership. No reasonable person ever imagined that the nation which landed a man on the moon could find itself trailing behind other large states in the battle against this virus.

 

Tourism in Antigua and Barbuda is very much determined by extant conditions in the source markets that drive this dependable and ever-expanding sector; and, it is also driven by good leadership here. All of Antigua and Barbuda prays for a rapid recovery in the USA, Europe and Canada.

 

While my Government seeks to diversify the tourism product, including new reliance upon the digital nomad sub-sector, the air b-n-b hospitality sub-sector, the health and stem-cell invitations, and other specialties, yet, the nation’s bread and butter are earned in the luxury hotels where more than 5,000 men and women are employed. Along with the beaches, the climate and the warmth of our people, the hotels are our nation’s gold mines.

 

Tourism will rebound but it cannot and will not ever be allowed to evolve into an extractive industry—not under my Government’s watch.

 

The Minister of Tourism is to be applauded for bringing exceptional leadership to this industry, having been declared by an outstanding publication to be “the best Caribbean Tourism Minister in 2020,” he concluded.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Antigua knows you love and miss our beaches and tropical temperature we also love and miss your currency…Get well soon first world countries

  2. Well, let me tell you the recovery won’t be quick. U.K. had more deaths than ever today. Antigua must be diligent and look for other means of income. There are many intelligent and entrepreneurial individuals in Antigua. As much as it’s a beautiful place the people of Antiguan soil must be given opportunity to pursue other means of GDP.

    • Hi Carol, Please be careful with the figures. The UK press seems to be highlighting all the bad news and not the good news. Yes the figures for deaths are not good but yesterday’s numbers included many deaths over many days not just yesterday. The UK deaths record all whom died WITH Covid not just from COVID in the last 28 days! ( so someone who died in a motor accident is recorded as a COVID death if they tested positive) It is the trend that is important not individual daily figures. A couple of weeks ago (I don’t have the latest numbers) there were only 377 UK deaths in total since March of the under 60’s without any health issues! Out of around 70000 total deaths at the time! So the main concern is the elderly or those with underlying conditions.
      So far in the UK we have now given over 4 Million their first dose of vaccine!
      I am personally lobbying my MP to help our friends overseas, especially in the Caribbean, to support them in our battle to beat this virus
      Keep strong Antigua, I’ll be back as soon as I can!

  3. Maybe Antigua needs to pray for a new industry and be more independent. Produce something you can export it at the very least sustain yourselves

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