The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority started Caribbean Tourism Week with a splash by hosting the must-attend event of the city, with over 180 attendees including influential, top-tier leading media, and travel trade and executives. The event was held to celebrate achievements of the past year of The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, including the appointment of Special Economic Envoy, Robert De Niro, as well as to launch Caribbean Week in New York, the largest and most effective event on the Caribbean tourism calendar. Featured publications included: Vanity Fair, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, New York Times, CBS News, and trades including Caribbean Journal, Travel Weekly and Travel Agent including too many to list. The turnout was so positive that extra tables were set for the over-subscribed guests. The evening, featuring a cocktail hour and sit-down dinner, was held at the world-renowned ’21 Club,’ an influential location where every U.S. President since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has dined at frequently. Guests were treated to a live jazz band quartet as well as a 3-course meal with each choice named after a well-known location on Antigua and Barbuda.
The evening, hosted by The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, Asot Michael, was headlined by honored guests, Honorable Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Brown and Special Economic Envoy to Antigua and Barbuda, Robert De Niro. Other luminary guests included Ambassador Aubrey Webson and Ambassador Gilbert Boustany. The Minister and Prime Minister’s spoke to the audience about the revolution of Antigua and Barbuda in becoming the economic powerhouse of the Eastern Caribbean. Achievements of the Government within the past year that were shared with the audience included: raising over $2billion in capital, strides in making the Citizenship by Investment Unit the most lucrative in the industry while maintaining the highest international security standards, promise for a total transformation of port facilities and downtown St. John’s, the imminent opening of the new airport terminal at V C Bird Airport making it the most modern airport in the Caribbean and increased airlift to the islands,
The event also featured the official signing and partnership between The Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the Sunwing Travel Group to develop a 500-room all-inclusive resort under the Royalton Luxury Resorts brand on the famed white sands of Deep Bay, Antigua. Construction will commence this summer on The Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa, as well as a residential complex with over 200 condominium units. Slated to open in 2017, this $400M development is expected to represent 2,000 new jobs for Antigua and a massive injection to the economy. The contract was signed by the Honorable Prime of Antigua and Barbuda Minister Gaston Browne, the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy of Antigua and Barbuda, Asot Michael and CEO & President of Sunwing Travel Group, Stephen Hunter.
The Honorable Prime Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Asot Michael summarized the importance and success of the evening, “With such a positive turnout of influentials and executives, who left with an infectious feeling of excitement and positivity about Antigua and Barbuda, and everything we are doing to achieve our vision of becoming the economic powerhouse of the Easter Caribbean, we fully expect this energy to proliferate across all networks – from tourism to business to investments.” Minister Michael extrapolated on the benefits saying, “This was an incredibly important step for us to reassert ourselves in the North American market as the destination of choice: from leisure to investment and business to our Citizenship program. With the dedicated, loyal work of the entire North American Antigua and Barbuda team, our twin island nation can look forward to exponential positive benefits and returns for the coming months and years.”