VISITORS ARRIVALS FROM THE UK CONTINUE TO GROWThursday 26th August 2010
The latest provisional land based visitor arrival figures indicate a rise in visitor arrivals from the UK. The figures for June 2010 recorded a 16.6% increase compared to the same period last year. This jump represents the biggest increase from the UK market this year.
UK arrivals have been seriously hampered by the introduction of a new travel tax the Air Passenger Duty (APD) and the loss of airlift following the exit of charter airlines BMI and First Choice.
“The UK has traditionally been our strongest source market but the US has been showing rapid growth and now holds the top position in terms of visitor arrivals. The London office is doing a great job in turning around the arrival figures. The new strategic approach implemented by Director of Tourism, Hilary Modeste and his team is certainly beginning to reap positive results.” Said Colin C. James, CEO, Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority.
“We are doing everything within our power to address the issues affecting the UK market. We are continuing discussions with airlines to improve accessibility and we are working closely with our partners that deliver the business. In terms of the APD charge, we have adopted a unified Caribbean approach to fighting this. Tourism Minister John Maginley, as Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) is leading the charge in lobbying the UK Government to reclassify the Caribbean in line with the USA. We are taking this approach since it is unlikely that the UK Government will scrap the charge altogether.” continued Mr. James.
Total arrivals from all markets were up 2.4% which is encouraging given the current economic climate. Arrivals from Canada and the USA continued to show solid gains with increases of 74.4% and 6.4% year to date respectively
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