St. John’s Antigua- CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin C James said he is optimistic about an improved year for tourism in 2013 following a good 2012.
James said air arrivals saw a 3 per cent growth in 2012 over the previous year and yachting arrivals up to November 2012 saw a 9 per cent increase over the same period the year before.
“We had 23,000 yachting visitors up to the end of November, which is like a 9 per cent increase,” James said.
However James admitted that last year was a largely tough time for cruise arrivals, which included a very slow summer season.
“We have gone through a difficult time with a lot of the cruise lines relocating to the Mediterranean market so we have seen a fall off in some of our cruise numbers,” James said.
“But based on the discussions we have had and some of the negotiations we’ve had, we are going to see a significant number of cruise lines come back for the summer this year,” he added.
He said the cruise line Royal Caribbean would make at least two stops per month in the summer and a total of 29 visits during the next cruise tourism season.