Hughes calls for duty-free zones in St John’s

Chester Hughes

An opposition senator is suggesting that tourism officials consider making certain parts of St John’s a duty-free zone.

Chester Hughes is asking the government to seize the opportunity to attract more visitors since the duty- free port of St Maarten has been destroyed by Hurricane Irma.

At present, Heritage Quay is the only duty-free shopping complex in St John’s.

Hughes said the country can develop a six-month plan to woo tourists and increase revenue intake in the tourism sector.

“Open St John’s to duty-free, let us make St John’s a duty-free port and let us decide where the duty-free section begins. You make St John’s, if it is from East Street to the harbour, make it all a duty-free port, make the tourist boats start to come here as a first stop,” Hughes said.

He said if the country does not start that vigorous campaign “to say that we accept you as a tourist” Antigua and Barbuda will lose out because when St Maarten and the other islands rebuild, they are coming back with ultra-modern products.

“If we miss the opportunity as a tourism country, I say woe be onto us because the marketing must start now, the tourism marketing must start now that Antigua is open for business, that is what we should be doing,” he added.

The United Progressive Party (UPP) senator noted that in every crisis, opportunities can be created which, if missed, creates a serious problem for the country.

Hughes urged the tourism minister to make every effort to seek to bring those cancelled vacations from the hurricane-ravaged islands here.

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  1. Of course that Antigua need change now and improve the Tourism sector, but need work hard hard, we need feel the change in Less than 7 month, because in 2 years with will lose position in this area

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