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Newsletter 40 -

10th November 2015
Photo: Justin Peters - Caribbean Times

Antiguan Dream

With lush views and clear water, Antigua is a prototypical island paradise. However, it also has a unique culture all its own

- See more at: http://www.lipulse.com/trends/article/antiguan-dream#sthash.jmTT3ekQ.dpuf
AHTA News
JetBlue Launches Nonstop Service to Antigua and Barbuda From New York
JetBlue launched services to its newest destination, Antigua and Barbuda's V.C. Bird International Airport  from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), with three times weekly service on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Antigua and Barbuda becomes JetBlue’s 92nd destination in its growing network and 34th destination in Latin America and Caribbean, where JetBlue has quickly become a leading airline from the U.S. Full story here...
Watch the Prime Minister the Hon. Gaston Browne's address at the arrival at the V.C.Bird International Airport upon of the inaugural flight by clicking on the image
Antigua and Barbuda celebrate new JetBlue service with influentials and leaders in travel, business and media
Antigua and Barbuda took to the New York skies to make a splash in celebrating the launch of the new nonstop JetBlue service from New York JFK airport to V.C. Bird International Airport at the newest and most exciting venue in the city, the rooftop of the Knickerbocker Hotel in Times Square. Offering stunning 360 degree views of the Times Square skyline, including the iconic ‘ball’ that drops at midnight on New Year’s Eve, guests were treated to drinks and canapés while being delighted by the music from a steel drummer. The venue was fully branded Antigua and Barbuda with the latest Antigua and Barbuda video featuring the best and most enticing images the islands have to offer visitors playing on loop. The evening was hosted by The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, Asot Michael. Full story here...
Antigua & Barbuda report highly successful World Travel Market
Antigua and Barbuda had a highly successful WTM 2015 in London with positive figures and developments announced and encouraging feedback from the trade and media.  
The key news shared at WTM by Antigua and Barbuda included June, July and August 2015 seeing a double digit growth in arrivals from the UK. This was achieved by the strong support to the trade and the online advertising campaign in April 2015. It was also reported that room nights and revenue are on the up. The top 30 UK tour operators accounted for 174,000 room nights in 2014 which is on track to grow by 10% in room nights and by 25% in revenue for 2015.
Air capacity and growth also remains positive, following airline meetings at WTM with Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Thomas Cook.  All three airlines reported encouraging passenger numbers to Antigua with increased figures in 2016. The CEO of Thomas Cook, Christoph Debus, reported that bookings for the winter flight from Manchester are 50% up against the same period last year. The CEO of Eden Viaggi reported that sales for the new Italy flight to Antigua starting on 20th December has robust forward bookings and they are already considering a flight in winter 2016.
Antigua and Barbuda’s largest tour operator partners, Virgin Holidays and BA Holidays, are reporting double digit growth for 2015. Both Hayes and Jarvis and Kuoni Travel have announced that, for the first time, Antigua and Barbuda is their strongest Caribbean partner for 2015, ahead of Barbados,
Mexico, Jamaica and Saint Lucia. The destination’s luxury operators are reporting increased business and three plan to start selling Barbuda in 2016 ahead of new hotel openings.
Statistics
In the last week we have added the following to the Statistics page of our website
1) Hotel Occupancy figures for October 2015
2) Cruise and yachting arrivals for 2015
Dean Fenton of the ABTA New York Office was recently awarded by the Professional Travel Agents of North America (PTANA) for his dedicated service to the industry.
Expedia’s CEO on the Convergence of Everything
Skift Take: No one, including the Expedia CEO, knows where some of these converging booking and price-comparison trends will end up. The winners will be people and companies flexible enough to reinvent their businesses every few years.
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