Wednesday 14th November, 2018-Cruise Tourism officials are optimistic that the upcoming 2018/2019 season will be successful.
According to a statement, Minister of Tourism and Investment the Hon. Charles Fernandez reports on his return from the recently concluded Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference and Trade Show that the Antiguan and Barbudan delegation met with the executives of major cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Norweigan, The Carnival Corporation, Regent Seven Seas, and Disney in a quest to secure increased calls and visitor spend.
In meeting with President of the FCCA Michelle Paige, it was noted that keen attention must be paid to the Antiguan and Barbudan product offering, ensuring that it is unique, authentic and attractive to the thousands of passengers that traverse the Caribbean islands which have a common culture prior to arrival at the ports of St. John’s.
According to Minister Fernandez Ms. Paige as well as other Cruise Line Executives are quite excited about the advent of the Fort James Development Project which will catapult the product experience for Cruise passengers to one of the region’s premier.
The results of the Brea Cruise Economic Impact Study also held good news for Antigua and Barbuda signaling that cruise passenger expenditure has increased from $64.88 US per passenger to $73.55 US over the past three years.
Passenger and crew visits along with additional cruise line expenditures generated $77.7 million US from May 1st2017 to April 30th2018. The survey was conducted on board ships of the FCCA member cruise lines.
Authorities are looking at the increase in passenger spend as quite encouraging, however a concerted effort is being made towards having this number elevated to at $100.00 per passenger by 2021.
The concept of a multi-destination product offering in the form of tours for cruise passengers to neighboring Montserrat and the sister isle of Barbuda, was marketed to all major cruise lines with the Hon. Donald Romeo as well as representatives from the Montserrat Tourism Authority forming part of the Antiguan and Barbudan delegation.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Investment, Mr. Walter Christopher and Manager of the Antigua Port Authority Mr. Darwin Telemaque were also present in Puerto Rico.
The FCCA Cruise Conference and Trade Show ran from November 5th to 9th.