“Ensuring that holiday-makers are able to access Antigua and Barbuda with just one click from any location, at any time”, said Minister of Tourism the Honourable John Maginley, is just one of the driving factors behind the creation of Antigua and Barbuda’s new integrated online and mobile strategy.
The Tourism Minister made the remarks to a large audience of trade and media partners at World Travel Market, one of the leading trade fairs in the global tourism industry being held in London, England, from November 5 – 8 2012.
Maginley was commenting specifically on Antigua and Barbuda’s new global tourism website, during the website’s soft launch at the Antigua and Barbuda pavilion on day two of World Travel Market.
“The user-friendly site which goes live in early 2013”, said Maginley, “will allow Antigua and Barbuda to become a world-class player in the digital arena”. The website will replace all pre-existing destination sites, and will be available in seven languages, catering to Antigua and Barbuda’s traditional markets as well as new and emerging markets. The site will feature both IPhone and IPAD apps, and will allow visitors planning holidays to Antigua, to access and book at their fingertips flights, accommodation, excursions and restaurants.
Antigua and Barbuda’s digital presence also featured at WTM’s Travel and Technology presentations as a global leader for web and technology.
In keeping with his vision, to refresh Antigua and Barbuda’s image, and position the country as an aspired holiday locale, the Minister of Tourism, also released a new high definition destination commercial. The locally produced commercial showcases the beaches, friendly people, activities and rich culture of Antigua and Barbuda to include, Antigua’s Carnival and Barbuda’s Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Sir Vivian Richards, Antigua and Barbuda’s Cricketing hero, also makes a cameo appearance in the video.
Commenting on day one of World Travel Market, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, indicated that meetings were positive, with a number of tour operators reporting an increase in business to Antigua for the close of 2012, and optimistic forecasts for 2013.
“We just concluded arrangements with British Airways and Virgin Holidays, towards co-op marketing for the winter booking period running from end of 2012 into early 2013” said James. “This will allow us to increase our presence in the UK market, and stimulate bookings during the prime booking period”.
The Minister of Tourism and his delegation have had numerous meetings over the last two days, and the tourism team will continue meetings at World Travel Market until Thursday before attending European meetings later in the week in France and Italy.
The Antigua and Barbuda World Travel Market delegation, led by the Minister of Tourism includes Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Ted Isaac, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James, Director of Tourism for the United Kingdom and Europe, P. Hilary Modeste, Chairperson for Tourism with the Barbuda Tourism Council Dorcas Beazer-Williams and Online Marketing Strategy Project Coordinator Abena Merchant. Sir Vivian Richards, also joins the delegation, as Antigua and Barbuda’s Tourism Ambassador, and a recognized cricketing legend within the UK.
Among the exhibiting partners at WTM are, The Barbuda Council, Blue Waters Hotel, Carlisle Bay, Grand Royal Antiguan, Hermitage Bay, Jolly Beach Resort & Spa, Sandals Grande Antigua, Sugar Ridge, The Unique Properties, Oceanic Cottages, Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tours, National Tours & Services, and St James Travel and Tours Antigua Ltd.
Antigua and Barbuda tourist guide publications that launched their 2013 editions at WTM were: The Antiguan, Beautiful Barbuda, and the Treasure Island.