ANTIGUA MARINAS, MARINE SERVICES & RELATED BUSINESSES READY FOR THE SEASONFriday 20th October 2017
Photo credit: Kevin Johnson
The Antigua Yachting industry and all its support infrastructure including marinas, marine service businesses and provisioning companies remain fully operational following the passing of the recent hurricanes but Antigua does not operate in a bubble. The region works together to deliver a great experience for all visiting yachtsmen and women. Over the last few weeks the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association (ABMA) has hosted a number of ‘State of the Industry Meetings’ to share and discuss information with its membership and determine Antigua’s readiness for the upcoming season.
The pressure is on for Antigua to lead the charge for the region and ensure that all visiting yachts understand that not only Antigua but the region, is very much open for business and ready to deliver outstanding and unique Caribbean experiences, albeit with the option of changed itineraries for some in the short term. At the meetings it was agreed that the Antigua Yachting Sector has a duty to promote its sister islands and ensure that brokers, owners, and charter guests are kept abreast of the positive steps that are taking place to get the affected destinations open for business while reassuring the industry that Antigua is ready to react to the potential short-term increase in business. Because the industry demands and needs guests to experience the beauty of the entire Caribbean, itinerary suggestions from yacht charter companies therefore also include the Southern and Central islands all untouched by the storms and similarly ready to receive those boats whose itineraries usually keep them in the Northern Caribbean.
A large contingent of Antiguan business owners and managers attended Monaco Boat Show and re-assured attendees that the Antigua Yacht Show is most definitely on. With 60 entries to date, this number is expected to grow over the next month. Commissioner of the National Parks Authority and Antigua Yacht Show board member, Ann-Marie Martin, commented ‘It is clear that for the upcoming season Antigua will be the gateway to the Caribbean for many boats, both in terms of a base for those who can’t be in the Northern islands as they normally would short-term, but also as a hub for relief efforts being put into place by the charter yacht industry for the islands affected by the storms. ‘
In the last week the first two Motor Yachts, Grey Matters and Va Bene, and tug, the Flying Buzzard have arrived and moved on to deliver aid to Dominica, allowing us to start streamlining the aid process before more yachts arrive prior to the Antigua Yacht Show.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association Franklyn Braithwaite said, ‘Over the remaining weeks prior to season start we will be completing our normal final plans as well as ensuring we are geared up and ready not only to welcome back the boats who come each year but those who have been displaced for this season.’
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