Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Asot A. Michael, recently spent three days in discussions and presentations to cruise industry decision-makers in South Florida. The minister met with several cruise lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC, Holland America, Seaborn and Princess Cruises.
“The cruise executives and itinerary planners were impressed with our vision for improving how Antigua will be welcoming their ships and passengers, and their feedback has helped us to better understand their specific needs for achieving sustainable growth,” said Michael. “I am confident that we have developed the right masterplan, and it is now up to our Government to identify additional financing to complete what we started last year when we successfully implemented critically needed marine improvements at St. John’s Harbour and the Heritage Pier.”
Michael reported that decision-makers were particularly interested in the possibility of creating a new beach-focused, outer-island style of cruise destination on the island of Barbuda; this plan, he says, is designed to deliver an authentic and unprecedented experience for an Eastern Caribbean cruise itinerary and better position Barbuda on the regional cruise map.
The Minister was accompanied at his cruise industry meetings by his cruise-sector advisor, Ricky Skerritt, Tourism Authority Board member Nathan Dundas, Antigua & Barbuda Port Authority CEO Darwin Telemaque, and representatives of the BEA-Meridian design and construction team who are responsible for designing and constructing the plan.