Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA), joined a panel of leading tourism industry experts to discuss the Future of Travel and Embracing the New World of Tourism during this week’s WTM Virtual.
Led and moderated by BBC presenter, Babita Sharma, ABTA’s CEO was joined by Dr. Betty Radier – CEO of the Kenya Tourism Board, Jonathan Keane – Managing Director of Global Aviation, and Godja Sönnichsen – Director of Communications at TUI Cruises.
The aim of the session was to explore the future of tourism and to discuss what the new trends and priorities of travellers will be in the coming years. Following the immediate impact of the pandemic, the tourism landscape has now developed, and the session touched upon the key challenges for destinations and travel brands moving forward.
Weighing in on how Antigua and Barbuda is keeping up with the evolving landscape of the travel industry, the Tourism Authority’s CEO touched upon the various health and safety measures that have been implemented across the island which will likely be a regular feature for holidays going forward.
While this year has seen many countries shutting their borders and enforcing quarantine restrictions, the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda have continued to remain open for business and have retained a consistent spot on the UK’s air bridge agreement list. Health and safety and are the top priorities for the islands which have introduced a number of strict protocols that must be adhered to by both residents and visitors alike.
James also touched upon the recently launched Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) Programme which encourages UK travellers, who can meet the requirements of their employers, to relocate to Antigua for up to two years to work remotely from its idyllic shores.
That program provides some much-needed space and recuperation following a turbulent 2020 and offers some of the emerging trends that UK travellers are now prioritizing; including space, natural beauty and a focus on mental wellbeing.
Following an unprecedented year of challenges for the tourism sector, the panel ended the discussion with optimism for the future.
While the landscape will continue to change and develop over the next few weeks and months, the insights offered by the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin James and his fellow panelists show commitment and resilience as the industry continues to rebuild.