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Monday 8th June 2015

Accepting the CTO Travel Media Award’s ‘Virtual Visitor Award’ for the Best Online Feature for New York Times Article, ‘Seeing the Whole of Antigua’ from Hugh Riley, Secretary General of the CTO is Marie Walker ABTA’s US VP Sales and Marketing, ABTA CEO Colin James, and Tourism Consultant Shirlene Nibbs.

New York, NY. June 5, 2015 – The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is continuing on its path towards successfully dominating Caribbean Week 2015 by winning two awards yesterday, June 4th, during Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) ‘Media’ day and displaying a unified, powerful presence at the ‘Media Market’. The Honourable Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Asot Michael stated, “I am incredibly proud of the achievements Antigua and Barbuda has already accomplished these past few days. Winning the CTO Travel Media Award for Best Online Feature where we took first place in one of the 9 categories which recieved120 entries, is a remarkable achievement.  Additionally being chosen by consumers and being awarded one of the Caribbean’s ‘Top 10 Traveler’s Choice,’ by TripAdvisor and their users is positive proof that Antigua and Barbuda is being recognised as a leader in Caribbean Tourism”

Caribbean Week is the largest, most engaging regional tourism activity in the greater New York and US market, and typically attracts thousands of participants resulting in extensive media coverage of the various events at a local, national, and international level that reaches an audience of millions. Now in its 42nd year, the week-long event, organized by the CTO showcases the sights, sounds, colours, culture and unique experiences of the Caribbean. It is a unique platform to interact with Caribbean tourism officials, the media, artists, performers, celebrity chefs, investors and stakeholders particularly in combining business sessions and consumer-oriented events.  Antigua and Barbuda was the only country to have a double-booth, resulting in incredible interest from the media in attendance.

Thursday’s Caribbean Week events, were geared towards interacting with the media in recognition of the positive and flourishing relationship the Caribbean tourism industry has with the Media, beginning with the Caribbean Media Awards Luncheon, followed by the Media Market and finished by the TripAdvisor Awards. The Caribbean Media Awards Luncheon, held at the Wyndham New Yorker hotel, recognizes media for positive coverage of the Caribbean and for influencing their readers to travel to the Caribbean. Awards are presented in 9 categories in addition to the ‘Best in Show,’ winner.

The TripAdvisor’s ‘Top 10 Traveler’s Choice’ award was accepted by ABTA CEO Colin James and Tourism Consultant Shirlene Nibbs.

Antigua and Barbuda was presented with the ‘Virtual Visitor’ Award that was won by Luisita Lopez Torregrosa from The New York Times for her online feature piece, “Seeing the Whole of Antigua.” This is an incredible achievement considering there were over 120 entries for the 9 categories of awards, and the first time Antigua and Barbuda has won this award. The destination was additionally recognized at the TripAdvisor Awards, where Antigua was chosen as a ‘Top 10 Traveler’s Choice’ destination. This recognition is particularly impactful as it is awarded by users of this TripAdvisor - the world’s largest travel site with more than 60 million members and 170 million reviews and opinions of hotels, restaurants, attractions and other travel-related businesses.

This award is a true recognition of how beloved the destination is, and is proof of all of the dedicated hard work being done by the tourism teams in North America and in Antigua and Barbuda. On hand to accept both awards on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda were Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) CEO, Colin C. James and Tourism Consultant in the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, Shirlene Nibbs. In addition to the awards ceremonies, the CTO held the ‘Media Market,’ a two and a half hour open forum for media to attend, allowing them to network with the different participating regions, and receive the latest destination updates directly from the country representatives.

Antigua and Barbuda had the largest presence at the media market, with a double-booth designed to attract passers-by with colorful, enticing images, banners and branded giveaways including popular nautical inspired cloth beach-bags that highlighted Antigua and Barbuda’s sailing heritage, and which was a crowd favourite amongst event attendees. Every person left the media market talking about Antigua and Barbuda, and armed with further information on why the twin-islands are the heart of the Caribbean.

Minister of Tourism, The Hon. Asot Michael, with members of the team, who executed Antigua and Barbuda’s activities during Caribbean Week 2015.

Present during the course of the media market place were, The Honourable Minster of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Asot Michael who provided interviews to media along with ABTA CEO, Colin C. James, Tourism Consultant Shirlene Nibbs and ABTA Vice President of Sales and Marketing, North America Marie Walker who with her enthusiastic team led the booth promotional activity.   

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