Antigua and Barbuda has seen an increase in its stay-over arrivals during the month of September 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
According to statistics reported from the Ministry of Tourism for the year to date, total stay-over arrivals for the destination reported as of September, now stand at 200,185, a 9% increase over the 183,587 in 2015.
Double digit growth was highest within Antigua and Barbuda’s largest source market with the US growing by 18%, Italy by 23% and the Caribbean by 15%. Growth was also experienced within the UK & Europe.
Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Asot Michael said Antigua and Barbuda is pacing well ahead of last year’s reported figures with tourism arrivals and tourism receipts up.
“Visitor arrivals are projected to further increase, with the year forecasted to close-off with double digit growth,” he said.
The growth in the Italian market is being attributed to airlift from the country, while the US market is being praised for contributing the highest volume of visitors to the destination.
According to CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James, this has played a significant role in leading the increase in overall tourism arrivals, and is to be commended.
Within the US market, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has been experiencing an unprecedented 2016 with continued and consistent double digit growth each month from December 2015 to September 2016. As of September, the overall US arrivals to the destination stood at a total of 84,500 visitors year to date, with the month of July alone receiving over 10,000 visitors.
With this continued upward trend, the Ministry of Tourism is convinced that the US market is slated to reach its targeted goal of 100,000 visitors by the end of 2016.
Kim Jack Riley, Director of Tourism, USA, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority said they have ensured that the twin-island nation is top of mind for Americans booking their next vacation.
The aggressive marketing effort which began in 2015 and included a marketing mix of print and digital advertising, increased social media presence and a series of trade initiatives and promotions, were also credited for the increase.