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Published on : Thursday, September 14, 2017
Antigua and Barbuda, is a sovereign independent Commonwealth country, located in the Atlantic and Caribbean meeting point has put a desperate plea to the UK trade to continue selling the country following the devastating Hurricane Irma, which gave a tremendous loss in the economical sector, by snapping the communications and the transportation.
Antigua missed the eye of the category 5 hurricane and did not sustain structural damages. All hotels, bar one, are due to reopen by this Thursday.
In contrast, the sister island Barbuda was devastated by the hurricane. The population of Barbuda has the 1,600, which have all been evacuated and the island’s buildings need to be rebuilt.
Barbuda holds about 2% of the country’s hotel stock and is a popular day trip from neighbouring Antigua.
The country, which is made up of both islands, is heavily dependent on tourism, accounting for 60 percent of its gross domestic product.
The country’s minister for tourism, economic development, investment and energy Asot Michael said that on behalf of the Government and people of Antigua and Barbuda, he thanked to all the states for the trade for their professionalism over the past few weeks when working to ensure the safety of all customers on our islands during the passage of Hurricane Irma.
The government of Antigua and Barbuda has worked closely with the private sector to ensure that all the visitors continue to experience a first class product when they arrive.
Antigua saw very little impact from the storm hurricane .
Tourism is a vital for the islands so it is appeal to UK to continue to sell Antigua to support the efforts of reconstructing the two islands.
Jean Marc Flambert, Vice President of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has warned of serious consequences for the destination if the trade does not continue to support it.
Flambert said that the people should not feel guilty about coming to Antigua at this time because it has not been affected.
The people of Antigua and Barbuda have seen in the past the tsunami and now the hurricane, which devastated the neighbours crippling the economy there.
Antigua and Barbuda need tourism; there is a need of the livelihoods of the people to continue. If the travel industry doesn’t continue to sell the Caribbean the damage that could be done from an economic point of view could be quite serious.
United Kingdom accounts for the second-largest incoming visitor market to Antigua and Barbuda, with 77,000 people a year. The USA is the largest incoming market with 100,000 visitors.
But in terms of revenue, UK is as important as US visitors as they stay for 11 nights on average compared with the average US stay of five nights.