Tourism Officials Say Trade Shows Working


Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Officials have returned to Antigua and Barbuda having participated in the ITB Travel Trade Show, held from March 6 – March 10, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

The trade show is considered the World’s leading travel trade show and the largest exhibition of its kind in Europe, with over 10,000 exhibitors from 185 countries and over 109,000 visitors.  The event brings together trade from not only Germany but also Italy and emerging source markets in Eastern Europe to do business with destination’s worldwide.

Antigua and Barbuda’s delegation led by Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, included, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s CEO Colin C. James, and Director of Tourism for UK & Europe Cherrie Osborne.  Royalton Resorts, Ocean Point Resort and Spa, The Great House, Villas at Sunset Lane, Carib World Travel and St. James Travel and tours, were also partners on the Antigua and Barbuda tourism stand.

Coming out of meetings, the Tourism Minister said, “The German speaking market remains an important source market for the destination being the third largest European source market after the UK and Italy. While the onset of Brexit is creating some uncertainty in the marketplace, the strategy of aggressively growing European business is at the forefront of the destination’s focus.”

Antigua and Barbuda recorded over 21,000 continental European arrivals at the end of 2018 reflecting a growth of 4% with potential for further growth.

“Antigua and Barbuda will continue to support the growth in the market, by working with Condor airlines and our tour operator partners within the region,” said Minister Fernandez.

The German travel trade were excited at the news of major television coverage in Germany for Antigua and Barbuda this year.

German film productions ‘Grenzenlos – Die Weltentdecken’ and ‘Traumschiff’ are expected to bring great awareness to the destination. The travel documentary Grenzelos will air on Saturday 7th April and will reach an audience of 1 million.  Traumschiffwhich is currently being filmed on island, is ahighly popular, family-orientated, prime-time German TV-series produced for the second largest German Television Network. The show will be broadcasted in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism officials also used the ITB exhibition to preview amongst a group of 30 influential bloggers the destination’s upcoming summer campaign ‘What Cool Looks Like’.

The Antigua and Barbuda team conducted a packed schedule of meetings with tour operators, cruise operators and airlines.  European tourism partners also received updates, on the latest plans for hotel developments in the destination and the increased prospects for tourism in Antigua and Barbuda.

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  1. Hopeless bunch……………. Jamaica welcomes 1 million visitors in just the first 9 weeks of 2019. For a country that offers so much, the results in Antigua are so little. Leading the pack is perhaps the most docile of all Tourism Ministers I have come across. Before we continue to waste our money on these foreign trips, I recommend that we go to Jamaica and talk with their tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. Mr Bartlett just announced that the over 1 million visitors have provided foreign exchange earnings of approximately US$800 million. Amazing yes! I am sure that we can learn a lot from Jamaica. We really have very little to show for all the foreign trips that the Minister and his team takes. We seem to be satisfied with very little.

  2. What you need is commitment from charter airlines and tour operators to sign on to the destination. Check what is happening in Santa Domingo. Every summer you plane loads full of charters bringing tourists almost daily to the destination. Don’t look for an airline that does regular weekly flight. Hotel operators join with tour operators and they put on these special flight hotel inclusive. Something like Sun Wings. That is how Europeans travel for their summer vacation. And that is during our low season. May to August/September. And they can only spend one week or two maximum.
    Makes me wonder if our team really understand the potential customer of these countries. What drives them and when they do travel. The European tourist that travels in the winter time to the tropics is usually self-employed and in the middle to upper class. Not your regular John Do and family. Winter time is for winter vacations. Then they go to the Alps in Switzerland and other snow filled mountain areas such as in Austria. Those are famous and cheap winter vacation spot. Even some part of Spain. And one has to understand when it comes to summer vacation spot you first compete with Spain then the rest of the world.

  3. I laugh when I see the figures being touted for 2018….21,000 European arrivals and we celebrate that. What a waste of time! If after all the promotion, all the marketing, all the appearance on TV that we can accomplish then our efforts are almost in vain. We need to come to the realization that we are not succeeding and our efforts far exceeds the rewards. I am calling on the Ministry of Tourism to publish the expenditure for overseas trips for the Ministry of Tourism for last year and I am sure that we will see just how much of our hard earned tax dollars are wasted on these trips that accomplish nothing. Tourism needs a boost, tourism requires someone who knows the industry inside out, tourism requires someone with the skill and knowledge to effectively market destination Antigua. When the top slack, the bottom would never be right. Overhaul the tourism ministry now!

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