ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC:
Antigua and Barbuda has recorded a 12 per cent increase in visitor arrivals for the first six months of the year with the island’s North America-based Tourism Director, Derede Samuel-Whitlock, saying the increase shows significant momentum has been gathered based on the two per cent increase recorded over the 2010 and 2011 season.
‘Looking at the numbers for the early part of this year, we have certainly regained some of the ground that we lost and surpassed it in many instances,” Samuel-Whitlock said, noting that the global economic and financial crisis had forced the authorities to rethink their tourism strategy for the island.
‘We are really hoping to continue this positive trend. We have had a very good season. The visitor arrival statistics for the period May through June are currently at 12 per cent over last year and we really attribute that to an increase in seats due to the merger between Continental and United Airlines so instead of passengers having to pay two different airlines, now it is very seamless and we are beginning to see a little lift in places like Washington DC.”
He said that the merger had resulted in a significant surge on last year’s arrival figures of 84,000.