ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The Honourable Harold Lovell, Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation recently returned from Europe where he personally met key European trade partners, including hotel representatives, tour operators, airlines and members of the press.
His busy itinerary began with hosting a Hotel Partners Meeting at the UK Tourist Office in London. Well attended by the Islands’ key hotel and resort representatives, discussions centred on business moving forward and a personal update from Lovell concerning new developments on the Islands and at the airport.
Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation
Antigua and Barbuda’s UK advertising agency, My Giraffe, presented the results of a Mystery Shopper’s trade survey which was undertaken to gauge general perceptions of the destination. The positive results clearly indicate that Antigua and Barbuda remains one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean with agents highlighting the Islands’ key selling points as beautiful and friendly with lovely beaches.
The Minister met with Tour Operators Thomas Cook Signature, Saga Holidays, Kuoni and Virgin Holidays as well as airline partners, bmi, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. One on one press interviews took place with The Daily Mirror newspaper, New Nation, Travel Weekly, The Flyer and Caribbean World Magazine.
The focus of the trip was to reassure trade partners that in these turbulent times it was still “Business as usual for Antigua;” the general consensus of opinion was that while some travellers may reduce their total number of annual trips, the yearly holiday was an integral part of the British psyche and other domestic expenditures were more likely to be reduced before holidays were too adversely affected.
Accompanied by Carol Hay, Director of Tourism for the UK/Europe, the Minister travelled to Italy for a meeting with Livingstone Airlines as well as key Italian tour operators.
Comments Minister Lovell: “My visit to Europe was a very productive trip which resulted in frank and productive dialogue with our trade partners. The mutual benefits of meeting them personally after an eventful summer and when the global economy is undergoing such change, enabled me to better understand their needs and discuss how we can work together in promoting the destination in the days and months ahead. We sincerely value their support and look forward to working with them in 2009 and beyond.”