ANTIGUA & BARBUDA HOTELS & TOURISM ASSOCIATION

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TOURISM STATE OF THE INDUSTRY REPORT
Tuesday 14th May 2024


In September 2023, the Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation & Investment, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers Union, and the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute, jointly produced a State of the Industry Report. This concerted effort aimed to illuminate the current landscape of the industry as we approached the high-season months, encompassing a comprehensive evaluation of various aspects ranging from occupancy performance to training programs.

The development of this report was spearheaded by the ABHTA, underscoring the association's commitment to shedding light on the significance of the sector while fostering collaboration among key stakeholders.

Comprising member properties across all major hotels within Antigua and Barbuda, the ABHTA has listened attentively to its members, with particular emphasis on addressing the industry's attractiveness in terms of advancement opportunities, training, and remuneration. Drawing upon data from a sample of its membership and insights from the office of the Labour Commissioner, a salary comparison analysis was conducted, benchmarking the industry against other key sectors in the economy. See Page 20 of the state of Industry Report 2023.

Highlighted within the report, among other findings, is a positive comparison of wages in the hospitality sector, accentuated by several key benefits in addition to base salaries:

  1. Wages analyzed encompass both a foundational rate and a service charge component, with service charge points varying by season and by property.
  2. Thrift Fund: Initiated in 2010 through collaboration between the ABHTA and ABWU, this fund represents a 2.5% contribution by employees, matched by participating properties. Notably, during the pandemic period of 2020-2021, an understanding was reached allowing employees to access funds to mitigate income loss due to hotel closures, amounting to a payout of over EC$2 million.
  3. Comprehensive Health Insurance Coverage, with a contribution split of 60% by hotel members and 40% by insured individuals, offered by State Insurance Company Limited.
  4. Additional benefits such as meal and meal allowances, uniforms or uniform allowances, transportation, and maternity and paternity benefits further augment the industry's appeal.

Furthermore, providing training programs continues to be a cornerstone mission of the Association. Our diverse offerings span from Housekeeping to Supervisory Management, Conflict Resolution, Wedding Planner Consultancy, Coordination, and beyond. 

In addition to these efforts, the ABHTA has undertaken several initiatives to bolster the sector's significance and foster growth:

  • Primary School Visitation: Collaborating with the Schools Tourism Awareness Programme under the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Investment, the ABHTA aims to provide primary school students with firsthand knowledge of the hospitality industry, facilitated by dedicated hospitality professionals.
  • Unveiling Hospitality Professionals: A profiling initiative aimed at showcasing the contributions of individuals within the industry, highlighting their dedication and expertise.
  • Junior and Pastry Chef Competitions: In response to a decline in interest in culinary professions post-pandemic, these initiatives seek to ignite passion at the secondary school level, and generate interest among the culinary fraternity, fostering a love for the culinary arts. These programmes have been executed in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, and Investment.

Looking ahead to an upcoming season marked by significant events such as the SIDS Conference and the ICC World T20 Cricket, the hospitality industry remains vibrant and poised to continue making a positive impact on the economy of Antigua and Barbuda.

The ABHTA expresses gratitude for the ongoing collaboration and support of all industry stakeholders as we collectively strive to promote the destination, advance training initiatives, whilst cultivating an optimal and beneficial working environment for employees within our membership.

 

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