A number of factors were listed to support the assumption that in the foreseeable future the tourism sector will be booming. The disclosure was made during the Standing Finance Committee sittings and were chronicled in the SFC report.
In presenting the tourism figures, Ms. Patlian Johnson the Deputy Financial Secretary (Economic Development) stated that as of September 2014, the figures showed a 4.8 increase in overnight arrivals. This increase was reportedly driven by the charter boat industry and high end tourism.
Ms. Johnson explained that the cruise passenger number were slightly ahead at this point, but she anticipated that by the end of 2014 figures when tallied will total lower than the 2013 numbers. The lower figure she stated can be attributed to reduced cruise ship arrivals as a result of the continuation of the cruise pier expansion project.
Nonetheless, Ms. Johnson stated that the future looks bright for tourism as much is being done to increase future figures: “Government had conducted extensive marketing in the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America as well as obtained additional air access via Antigua; and increased ferry service access during the peak tourist season,” she stated.
The Deputy Financial Secretary added that the outlook for tourism arrivals was optimistic based on strategies such as evaluating the possibility of medical tourism, upgrading tourist facilities and the completion of the cruise pier.