Antigua & Barbuda reporting an increase in visitor arrivals
Posted On: July 16, 2012
Antigua & Barbuda is reporting an increase of 12 percent from last year in visitor arrivals to the twin-island state. Antigua’s North America-based Tourism Director, Derede Samuel-Whitlock, yesterday said due to the world-wide economic crisis, which has forced many to prioritise their means to travel, the increase shows significant momentum has been gathered based on the two per cent increase experienced in the 2010 to 2011 tourism season.
“Looking at the numbers for the early part of this year, we have certainly regained some of the ground that we lost and surpassed it in many instances,” Samuel-Whitlock said.
“We are really hoping to continue this positive trend. We have had a very good season. The visitor arrival statistics for the period May through June are currently at 12 per cent over last year and we really attribute that to an increase in seats due to the merger between Continental and United Airlines so instead of passengers having to pay two different airlines, now it is very seamless and we are beginning to see a little lift in places like Washington DC.”
The tourism director said the merger had resulted in a significant surge on last year’s arrival figures of 84,000.
However, Samuel-Whitlock said fall bookings have been lagging based on the numbers coming from the four major airlines that serve our island, out of the US.
“We try to pay attention to United, Delta, American Airlines and US Airlines numbers and looking at where we are now to where we were last year, the numbers are a little down but not significantly,” she said.
In a thrust to get the number up, marketing in the south-east Atlanta area, Washington, New England, New York City and in the tri-state area will intensify, she said.
“Of course with a strong fall, we are hoping that we will fold into an even stronger season at the end of the year 2012/13,” Samuel-Whitlock added.
The tourism calendar year typically begins in November, when most properties begin to reopen. Then visitor arrivals peak around Christmas, with a fall-off in mid January, wrapping up with high numbers in March and April.