A resounding success in each destination, the visits featured hosted evenings that included a colorful and insightful presentation from Ms. Marie Walker, Vice President of Sales & Marketing North America for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and was supported by industry partners such as tour operators to include Travel Impressions, Vacation Express and Island Destinations and hoteliers such as the Elite Island Resorts, Nonsuch Bay and Sandals. Each event captured the essence of Antigua and Barbuda and included the sounds of local steel pan music, feature trip giveaways and incentives for travel. Each event attracted the targeted cadre of travel advisors, with over 100 elite travel agents and travel trade members in many of the markets.
The road shows began in October with events taking place in Philadelphia, Maryland and Northern Virginia. This was shortly followed by targeting Canada, with stops in Montreal and Toronto, with two travel agent receptions, as well as participating in major trade events including the Salon International de Tourism et Vacances in Montreal and National Bridal Show in Ontario where Antigua and Barbuda’s presence was felt by all attendees through the booth and activities of sales members. This was followed by an intense two-week blitz across the Northeast with receptions, sales calls and blitzes in Connecticut, Southern Connecticut, Boston, Long Island, New Jersey and Southern Connecticut, the most important markets in North American for Antigua and Barbuda. The most recent blitz included a mystery payment for agents that were able to engage the most members on social media, with the highest number thus far reaching 500 likes, proving attendees were truly engaged for the evening.
As part of this targeted approach, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority North America office has been aggressively promoting the destination with a strategic digital and print ad campaign with several notable publications to include, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Brides.com and Budget Travel as well as CBS Radio spots featuring the Honorable Prime Minister Gaston Browne. As part of the aggressive move targeted ads were also placed with Bloomberg News and Forbes magazine promoting the country’s competitive Citizenship by Investment Program.
As an added boost, Antigua and Barbuda are experiencing record low airfares from the New York Tristate area at the busiest time of the season, with fares as low as $280 round-trip, taxes and fees included through to mid-March 2016. This is ideal given the warm weather affecting the east coast will soon end, bringing in the freezing temperatures, bad weather, and short days, where everyone will be looking for their Winter Getaway for warm weather, beautiful beaches and a variety of activities to choose from. Antigua and Barbuda are the natural answer to just this, with 365 different pristine white and pink sand beaches to choose from, amazing culinary choices, a vast portfolio of properties and activities ranging from luxury spa options to zip-lining to sailing to fishing. For the rum or hot sauce aficionados Antigua is home to award-winning versions of both. There is something for everyone, which the road shows were able to share first-hand.
This strategic multi-pronged approach is integral to the future success of the peak travel season for the twin island destination as Antigua and Barbuda will be top of mind when agents will be booking trips for their clients. Investing in relationships, particularly engaging clients and future visitors in face-to-face meetings ensures that they will truly absorb all of the information and build lasting relationships. Ultimately, these projects are expected to increase visitor arrivals to Antigua and Barbuda thereby resulting in a successful tourism season, a big help to the country as tourism heavily supports the economy and employment.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ms. Walker is excited about the positive results this will bring to the destination, “I am confident that our strategic and aggressive sales and marketing blitz across the US and Canada and investment in advertising will result in positive bookings for the upcoming peak season, continuing on throughout the year. It was the perfect opportunity to share with the leaders of the trade industry throughout North America all of the exciting and news and growth for Antigua and Barbuda, including opening the newest and most modern airport in the Caribbean, as well as the variety of properties increasing the room count on our islands, and investment projects throughout both Antigua and Barbuda. Our timeline also ensures we’ll be at the top of their minds when they’ll be booking holidays for all of their clients in the coming weeks and year. We’ve proven why Antigua and Barbuda is the perfect destination, whether it is a family trip, girlfriend or ‘bro’ getaway or those just wanting a quick weekend trip. We look forward to seeing the positive returns on these newly formed relationships in the coming year,” says Ms. Walker.
To discover why Antigua and Barbuda is the “gem” of the Caribbean, topping travel lists every year, and book your winter getaway, contact your preferred travel agent or visit your preferred online booking platform to book your dream vacation today.
ABOUT ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA
Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) and Barbuda (Bar-byew’da) is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua & Barbuda comprises 108-square miles. The 365 white and pink sand beaches, one for every day of the year, are just the beginning of the treasures that await visitors. Antigua’s rich history and spectacular topography provide a variety of popular sightseeing opportunities. Nelson’s Dockyard, the only remaining example of a Georgian fort commissioned by the British in 1755, is perhaps the most renowned landmark. Betty’s Hope, built in 1674, is the site of one of the first full-scale sugar plantations on Antigua, and offers a chance to step back into time by visiting the restored mills. Another unique attraction is Devil’s Bridge, located at the eastern tip of the island in Indian Town National Park, where Atlantic breakers have carved out a natural limestone arch. Antigua boasts a varied tourism calendar including events such as the World Class Antigua Sailing Week, Classic Yacht Regatta, Antigua Sports Fishing and also the annual Carnival; known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. Island accommodation ranges from luxury, boutique resorts and all-inclusive hotels to smaller more intimate boutique guesthouses and cottages.
For information about Antigua & Barbuda visit http://www.visitantiguabarbuda.com or www.antiguabarbudabuzz.com and follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/antiguabarbuda , Facebook www.facebook.com/antiguabarbuda and Instagram www.instagram.com/AntiguaandBarbuda