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INNOVATIVE DESTINATION OF THE YEAR AWARD
Tuesday 19th December 2017

St. John’s, Antigua (December 14, 2017) - Antigua and Barbuda has won the Innovative Destination of the Year award in the 5th Annual Caribbean Travel Awards as released in December, by Caribbean Journal, one of the Caribbean’s leading news publications. The destination was lauded by Caribbean Journal for its ability to attract new hotel brands, while proactive messaging following the aftermath of September hurricanes, led to the destination gaining the hard-earned award.

The Caribbean Journal article reads, “If there is a new capital of tourism investment in the Caribbean, it is most certainly Antigua and Barbuda, which has been attracting more new hotel deals and projects per capita than any other destination in the Caribbean, both major brands and new luxury developments. “But Antigua and Barbuda also wins plaudits for its innovative, rapid response to Hurricane Irma. Even as Barbuda was still reeling from Irma, Antigua’s tourism officials quickly plotted their response to the storm, immediately jumping back into business, emphasizing its activity and showing the world just how resilient the Caribbean is. It’s the kind of innovation that doesn’t just build hotels — it rebuilds islands.” “Our sincere thanks to all partners who ensured we received this award”, said Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO, Colin C. James. “It took a concerted team effort to ensure that we constantly got the word out; reemphasizing to the travel market that while Barbuda was affected, Antigua was open, with any misinformation stating otherwise immediately clarified.” In September, Antigua and Barbuda released the ‘Antigua is Open for Business’ video across the destination’s main source markets. A destination video shot following the storms, features tourism stakeholders at various tourism sites welcoming visitors.

It also encourages potential visitors to vacation in Antigua as a means of assisting with the Barbuda recovery. A number of high-profile interviews were conducted with major television and newspaper publications, while print adverts, radio adverts, electronic screens, social media and events were used to further share the message amongst the travel trade, media and to consumers.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s recent partnership with Virgin Holidays and Elite Island Resorts within the UK Market saw the release of a new music video of Come Back Darling by Reggae pop band, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue. Filmed exclusively on the Caribbean island of Antigua, the video re-make by reggae legends UB40 aims to encourage Brits to ‘come back’ to the Caribbean following the hurricanes of September 2017.


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