The Ministry of Tourism and Investment today condemned as “misleading and scare-mongering” a statement made by
In a statement, the ministry says Dundas’ statement serves the purposes of interested parties, other than the people of Antigua and Barbuda.
In his statement, Mr. Dundas says that Carnival Cruise
However, the government said what he does not reveal is that normally Carnival Cruise Lines make only 3 or 4 calls to Antigua and Barbuda annually. The statement said the one exception to this pattern was the 2017-18 winter season when Hurricanes decimated other destinations, causing Carnival to take advantage of Antigua’s fully functioning port.
“The total number of passengers that could be affected by these cancellations is approximately 12,200. This is a relatively small number of the total cruise passengers that visit our country annually,” the government said.
It added, “Therefore, while we regret any loss of business, however, small in percentage terms, we do not anticipate any significant adverse impact on the stakeholders in our economy.
It is significant that, at no time, did Mr. Dundas contact the Ministry, the Port Authority or the Tourism Authority prior to his statement.”
The ministry said In choosing to issue his statement publicly, for reasons best known to himself, Mr. Dundas caused unnecessary fear among cruise stakeholders, and the general public which was obviously his intention, particularly by his personal and unsubstantiated claim that he expects to see “more cancellations going forward”.
“Nonetheless, the Ministry of Tourism makes it clear that we value highly our
We are seeking sustainable cruise tourism partnerships for the empowerment of all, not just for the benefit of a few.”