The Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association only six weeks projected that the destination would perform at an average occupancy of 38% for the month of July. Today with the recent Level 1 CDC rating and with Antigua and Barbuda’s addition to the UK Green List, that projection has jumped to 71%.
This is extremely positive news for the destination and the Association is optimistic that we can meet these levels if we continue to see minimal infections of the Covid-19 virus and an increased focus on vaccination.
Mr. Vernon A. Jeffers, Snr Executive Chairman of the ABHTA stated that “Bookings continue to be lastminute which means we are not fully out of the woods yet. July has seen significant growth. We are also optimistic about the upcoming winter season as travellers begin to dust off their passports and consider destinations such as ours that are Sun, Sea and Safe.”
Mr. Jeffers however is mindful that our scenario can change quite quickly as the travel environment is still very volatile. He noted that “we cannot afford to relax any of protocols currently in place. We must remain vigilant and adhere to protocols within the general population and within all hospitality business. It only takes on infection that gets out of control to wipe away all the bookings that we now have, placing us back in a position of hotel closures and reduced employment. I encourage everyone, to please remain vigilant, protecting themselves, families and guests”.
The matter of vaccination remains a strong talking point in the sector. Industry partners continue to promote the safety of employees by supporting the Government’s vaccination drive.
On this matter, Mr. Jeffers highlighted that “our reality is that increased visitors means an increased risk for our employees. We must encourage everyone to protect themselves, promoting the safest home and work environment. Bringing more of our employees back out to work, removing rotations and reduced work week are our main goals, all of which can only be achieved with increased occupancy levels.”
The ABHTA, through the regular sampling of occupancy levels with its membership will continue to monitor and report on the bookings coming into the destination.