Tourist arrivals in Antigua and Barbuda have seen a year-on-year increase for 2019.
Figures for the 12 months up to June have increased by 9.55%, with arrivals at 162,287 in 2019 over 148,139 in 2018.
“Tourism has been experiencing a boom in Antigua and Barbuda, and [so the islands have] therefore been very attractive for investors,” said Colin James, CEO of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.
“The growth in the industry has been fuelled by a number of new luxury products, including the 294-suite Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa, which opened in May; Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, which debuted in December; and the planned debuts of Hammock Cove by Elite Island Resorts, Rosewood Half Moon Bay Antigua and Waldorf Astoria.
“The influx of these top luxury all-inclusive brands will help promote the destination,” he added.
Paula Whitehead, Elite Island Resorts’ (CA250) European managing director, said of the group’s new launch: “We felt that there was an appetite for a small, exclusive boutique retreat in Antigua, and Hammock Cove will provide just that. It complements our existing resorts perfectly with world-class amenities that will wow our guests.
“The stunning secluded setting will be ideal for special occasions including honeymoons and retreats, while its gourmet food offering will make it an unforgettable culinary experience.”
Adults-only Hammock Cove will open on 1 December in the Devil’s Bridge national park at St Philips, with 42 freestanding villas of 780 or 1,000 square feet, each with a veranda.
These openings come as the tourist board announces plans to add 2,000 hotel rooms by 2021.
The increase in arrivals has also in part been credited to the island’s #WhatCoolLooksLike marketing campaign, which launched in May and was designed to run during the destination’s shoulder season from May to October.
Minister of Tourism Charles Fernandez commented: “With the launch of the campaign in May, the tremendous support from our partners, hotel openings, and new destination events on our tourism calendar like the Optimist World Championships, we are seeing double-digit increases at a time when this is not the norm.”
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is highlighting that the island is a year-round destination, added James. “Our partners are communicating to us that the campaign has made a huge difference, and we are seeing it not only in increased arrivals, but in additional sales tax revenue coming into the country during the summer months.”