Newsletter 11 - 6th October 2014
A shorter newsletter this week. All seems quiet on the tourism front over the last seven days.
French classes start tonight for another 12 week term. If you have not signed up, it is not too late we still have space available.
Further to popular demand we have finally found an Italian tutor and classes will start next week so sign up promptly as spaces will be limited.
Jumby Bay opens up today after a short closure so we wish them well for the winter season.
Please keep the stories coming so that we can share them.
Antigua and Barbuda is well on its way on its Sustainability Journey
On Wednesday, October 1st, Tourism Stakeholders engaged in an action planning workshop to create projects to respond to Sustainability issues.  The session was part of the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas Programme which is a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Ocean Fund, Sustainable Travel International and other partners.
This activity follows the Destination Diagnostic study that was held in Antigua and Barbuda two (2) months ago where an assessment was done of where Antigua and Barbuda stands and how to improve sustainable development. Wednesday’s activity sought to utilize a bottom up approach with the active involvement of stakeholders to create three (3) quick-win projects that focus on priority issues such as a Sustainable Tourism Strategy, Natural and Cultural Heritage Management, and Community Involvement and Benefits. Multi-sector working groups made up of government, non- government and private sector stakeholders were established and are set to commence work on the three (3) projects identified shortly. These projects will be implemented and monitored for success over the next eighteen (18) months.

The statistics page of our website has been updated and now has:

1) Arrival figures through the V.C.Bird International Airport for July & August
2) The latest Caribbean figures from CTO dated 30th September

3) Cruise and yachting statistics for 2014

Full details of our our training programmes can be found on our website here
Upcoming Trade Shows

Later this month the ABTA and AHTA will be promoting the destination in Canada at the "Salon International de Tourisme et Voyages" in Montreal from the 24th to the 26th. This is Canada's largest consumer travel show with well over 20,000 attendees over the three days. With direct flights from Montreal by Air Canada and a large representation in the ACV programme there are opportunities for a wide range of properties to promote themselves to this receptive audience. If anyone is interesting in attending with us or providing material please contact the AHTA office.

Early November sees the World Travel Market at Excel in London from the 3rd to the 6th. The world's premier professional travel trade show. Antigua and Barbuda will have their traditional booth and stakeholders will need to register with the ABTA UK office in order to attend.

A week later and the focus is back on the US with the OSSN Home Based Agents Forum in Chicago. We have attended this event for the last four years and each year meet up to 1,000 home based agents. The show moves around and this is the first time to the Mid-West so should turn up a lot of new faces. Home based agents represent ba large segment of the travel trade in the US and these shows allow us to educate many of them on the destination. THE AHTA is attending along with the ABTA NY Office, again anyone interested in attending with us should contact the AHTA office.
News From Canada

Antigua and Barbuda attends the National Bridal Show

The Canadian Tourism team recently participated in Canada’s National Bridal Show at the International Centre in Mississauga, ON.  The destination gained tremendous visibility and increased its awareness to the over 10,000 visitors. This show attracted prospective brides, grooms as well as their families and friends, with a keen eye on ideas for their weddings and honeymoons. Antigua and Barbuda was presented as a “cut above the rest” with the uniqueness it offers.  With opportunities for “one on one” interaction, the team was able to entice the attendees with the many offerings of the destination beyond our beaches.   At this show a beautiful jewellery set was raffled to a beautiful bride to be, some of whom have now added Antigua and Barbuda to their wedding and honeymoon bucket list.  Leads are being carefully processed and based on the unique request of each client these will be used to match to the appropriate properties on island.  The contact information collected at these shows will be added to our mailing lists to promote tourism related information.

Education Foundation Seeks Donations for NY Times Travel Show Auction

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF) is in dire need of your help this year. The New York Times Travel Show Auction, where more than half of the revenue needed by the Foundation to provide the scholarships and services for the youth of the Caribbean, is being held prior to Caribbean Marketplace, the location where we normally collect hotel stays used for the Auction.

We need you to help us get hotel stays. And we need you to help do this now. BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31.

The benefit to the hotels is that they are using “empty available space” to help provide scholarships to Caribbean youth furthering their education in the hospitality field. Some of these students may eventually come back to work at these same hotels that provided stays for their scholarships. And all prizes are given out on a “Space Available” basis.

The added benefit is that these hotels are part of a major promotion of Caribbean vacations that are featured by The New York Times in their Travel Show in January. And thousands of consumers parade by the Foundation Auction Booth at the show each year reading about these hotels. The booth is centrally located by the Caribbean Pavilion which showcases most of the region’s destinations.

This year we are also going to recognize those hotel associations that consistently support the Foundation with hotel stays. We are providing five awards to be given out at the Opening Ceremony at Caribbean Marketplace 2015. The awards are for the following:

1. The Most Hotel Donated Nights from a Large Hotel Association

2. The Most Hotel Donated Nights from a Small Hotel Association

3. The Association with the Largest Percentage of its Hotel Members Providing Stays

4. The Hotel Association with the Largest Increase in Donated Nights Year-Over-Year

5. The Hotel Association that Resulted in the Most Revenue from their Hotel Stays

Please help us help your youth, your future hoteliers by providing hotel stays that we can use for The New York Times Travel Show Auction. And win recognition for your Association and your destination.

Please complete  the Donation Form with the details of your donation. It is a Word Document that can be filled out online and e-mailed back to make it simple. And remember, THE DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 31.

BookAntiguaNow Corner
 Getting Creative with Promotions and Packages!
Regatta would like to encourage each AHTA member to come up with their own interesting incentives, promotions or packages to sell on!  Whether it’s a Free Night Stay or a Package offering additional added values with length of stay restrictions, we can help you load!  If you think of something and can’t figure out how to load it, send us an email!  We’ll work with you to make it happen!  It’s important that guests feel that is a site where they can find unique experiences for Antigua and it’s your job to highlight all the island has to offer!  Load your unique promotions or send us your packages today!

As always…
If you have questions or need help with any aspect of your profile on, contact Martha Valdivia at

Does Hotel Internet Marketing Really Work?
3 Surprising Statistics From Recent Industry Reportsa Destination?



Does hotel internet marketing really work? That sounds like an odd question coming from a marketing firm, doesn’t it?
Aren’t we supposed to just tell you that you need internet marketing? End of story.

Well, no.

With all the commotion about the “most important” new hotel internet marketing tools (global distribution, social media, meta-search etc) you might feel compelled to just do lots of “marketing stuff” to keep up with your peers.

So we decided to put our biased feelings aside, ignore the status quo and look at numbers from recently published research about the effectiveness of hotel internet marketing.

This is what we found:

1. Internet Travel Booking has increased by 73% in the last 5 Years

Our first finding comes to us from Statistic Brain Research Institute, and it might not come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s been in the hotel business for more than five years.

But what does this stat tell us about online marketing? That it works. Marketers have been increasingly informing and engaging guests in ways that encourage them to book online. If they weren’t, phone sales would be up. As the percentage of online bookings continues to rise—as we suspect it will—more and more guests will expect to make decisions without picking up the phone.

2. Almost 60% of Affluent Travelers Book Travel Plans Online

Resonance Consultancy recently released a study that showed almost 60% of travelers with household incomes over $150,000 book travel plans online. The study showed that younger travelers in this group were also more likely to book online.

Unfortunately, the younger group is also less loyal… and more apt to use an OTA instead of a hotel direct website. In other words, the future is definitely online. The question is will you spend your money on OTA commissions or your own direct marketing?

3. 87% of Travelers Use the Internet for the Bulk of their Travel Research

Even when a guest books over the phone or through an agent, it’s likely they’ve researched you online first. According to a global study done by the European Tour Operators Association, 87% of travelers do most of their research online.

A few years ago, you may have gotten away with a basic website and a Facebook page. You could give them just enough to motivate them to call you. Then, you could build a relationship over the phone. Today relationships are begun and built online. Guests expect to not only find answers online, but also get a deep understanding of your unique value proposition and how they will FEEL when they arrive at your property or destination.

You can’t wait for guests to call. Because they won’t.
Copyright © 2014 Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Island House. Newgate Street
PO Box 454
St John's
Tel: (268) 462.0374 Fax: (268) 462.3702

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