Antigua and Barbuda’s July tourism report for 2015 shows record tourist arrivals for the first seven months of the year. The number of visitor arrivals for the first seven months of 2015 was 446,835, an increase of 26.8% over the same period in 2014.
Antigua and Barbuda posted record July visitor arrivals in July with an increase of 6.1% over August 2016, according to statistics published by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) on Tuesday.
It’s been a busy year for visitors to the twin Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. For the first time since records began, the combined total of visitors and cruise ship passengers surpassed the one million mark, and this summer the numbers continue to show a significant increase.
Overnight visits to Antigua and Barbuda during July exceeded figures for the same time in pre-pandemic 2019, according to the country’s tourism minister.
In July of this year, 23,405 tourists arrived at Antigua and Barbuda’s V.C. Bird International Airport, breaking the previous record of 23,031 visitors set in July of 2019.
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The dual-island nation continues to see “a steady rise in visitors throughout the summer months,” according to Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism minister, Charles Fernandez, who characterized the country’s tourism as “booming.”
“The covid-19 epidemic has caused a noticeable shift in the travel habits of our visitors,” Fernandez added. “July has been an exceptionally good month for the destination, with demand coming from both the US and the UK markets.”
The increase in tourists was driven by Americans, who accounted for 15,350 visits in July, up 33.4 percent from the 10,221 visitors recorded in July of 2019. In July, Antigua and Barbuda recorded 6,521 visitors from the United Kingdom, up 17.5 percent over the 5,378 visitors reported in July 2019.
In July, Antigua and Barbuda welcomed 839 visitors from the Caribbean and 107 from Canada, according to officials. Air links with other markets are still “not up to pre-covid levels,” according to officials.
According to Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the “continued upward trajectory” in flight arrivals is “clear evidence that the recovery is well underway.”
“This is especially promising since this July, which was the greatest July ever for air arrivals, occurred in a year when Antigua’s carnival was once again canceled owing to the pandemic, as opposed to 2019, when we had carnival,” James added.
The Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association’s senior executive chairman, Vernon A. Jeffers, stated, “July witnessed a return to extremely strong occupancies, especially throughout our mid-range sized hotels, who performed at 80 percent and above.”
“We definitely hope that these occupancy levels are maintained over the next several months as visitors continue to make last-minute travel choices to the destination,” Jeffers said.
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