Antigua and Barbuda’s steady tourism rebound continues for yet another month as, stayover tourism arrivals for July 2022, have topped the July 2019 pre-pandemic record. The islands’ Ministry of Tourism is reporting a growth in arrivals of 7% for the month of July against benchmark year 2019.
During the month, Antigua and Barbuda welcomed 24,673 visitors to the destination, an increase over 2021’s 23,405 and the 2019 record of 23,031.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism The Honourable Charles Fernandez said: “For a second year, we are experiencing a healthy summer season as consumer travel confidence grows and travellers make the decision to take that long-awaited vacation or previously delayed trip.
The Minister continued: “In July, we say a notable increase in group travel that contributed significantly to our growth, with one group from the US, bringing in approximately five hundred visitors travelling to enjoy our summer events. We are optimistic that we will maintain this strong position of growth into August.”
An influx of visitors from the United States contributed to the increase with arrivals 30% higher than in July 2019. 13,305 of Antigua and Barbuda’s tourists travelled by air from the United States in July, an additional three thousand plus when compared to July 2019.
There was also growth within the UK market, with an increase of two hundred and seventy-two British visitors to the destination leading to a 5% increase in tourism arrivals for the month over 2019. Arrivals stood at 5,650 in comparison to the 5,378 in 2019.
Arrivals from Canada grew by 1% while the Caribbean market saw a decline of 19%.
During the summer month, the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association reported occupancies of 63% across a sample of their hotel members.
In July, 9678 of visitors stayed at hotels, while 11, 487 patronized Guest Houses and Apartments/Villas.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is attributing the 7% growth in air arrivals for the month July 2022, when compared to July 2019, to increased airlift, aggressive destination marketing, easy travel protocols, the enthusiasm amongst consumers to return to travel, and their eagerness to once again participate in Antigua’s summer carnival.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James said: “Antigua and Barbuda is presently listed amongst the top ten Caribbean destinations leading the Caribbean tourism recovery efforts.”
James continued: “With good month-on-month growth and our overall tourism arrivals for the year to date only 16% less than the 2019 figures, Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism rebound prospects are looking positive, particularly when we consider global tourism forecasts.”
And he concluded: “For the Fall, our teams will continue to focus on closing the gap and achieving full recovery.”
Overall, total stayover arrivals for the period January – July 2022 (YTD), stand at 154, 099. This is a 91% increase over the 2021 comparison of 80,509 and a 16% narrowing of the gap of the 2019 January – July totals that stood at 184,465.
Antigua and Barbuda’s stayover tourism arrivals for July 2022 have topped the July 2019 record (Photo courtesy, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority)