Extreme weather conditions in the US continue to strengthen Antigua and Barbuda’s appeal. Several tour operators report that the recent rash of record low temperatures is having a positive market impact on travel to the destination. With 47 of 50 states experiencing snow conditions in recent weeks, travel agent activity and online searches for the Caribbean have spiked, as record numbers of US residents look to escape the tundra for a sunny adventure.
Antigua and Barbuda continues to capitalize on frigid weather conditions and record levels of snowfall with a heightened presence in the US marketplace. Last weekend, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) joined forces with the Antigua Hotels and Trade Association (AHTA) to promote the destination at the Boston Globe Travel Show.
Held on February 7 – 9 at the World Trade Center, this consumer show, the largest in New England, attracted more than 25,000 consumers, travel agents and media. With more than 10 AHTA members represented at this event, the Antigua and Barbuda team was highly visible, promoting a diverse array of “show only” wallet-friendly specials to appeal to the throngs of consumers in search of a sunny escape.
On Friday, the destination participated in a Travel Agent Roundtable, designed to provide one-on-one interaction, education and training for top producers in New England. According to US Tourism Director, Derede Samuel-Whitlock who facilitated the presentation, “Antigua and Barbuda ranks highly on the “escape list.” Travel agents are reporting strong last minute bookings, a spike in calls and heightened interest in the destination, because it is easy to get to, offers one of the best beach experiences and is extremely family friendly. We will continue to reinforce our marketing message to help spur interest and an upswing in bookings to the destination.”
Antigua and Barbuda’s unofficial “Culinary Ambassador” Chef Murphy, was also part of the delegation. He recreated a scene from Antigua’s Public Market with an array of local produce. He also served a range of bush tea infusions to help warm the hearts of hundreds of New England residents, seeking respite from the recent polar vortex.
The Boston Globe is the largest newspaper in Massachusetts and has wide distribution throughout the New England States. The ABTA and AHTA will collaborate on more than a dozen promotional initiatives in the next few months to increase visibility and incremental demand to help strengthen the destination’s market position.