ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA NAMED LONELY PLANET’S EMERGING SUSTAINABLE DESTINATION OF THE YEAR
(ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA) 17 NOVEMBER 2020 – Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Awards has named the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda 2021’s Emerging Sustainable Destination of the Year.
Unveiling a radical reimagining of its much-awaited Best in Travel picks for 2021, Lonely Planet is looking ahead to the important changes taking place globally, from sustainability to diversity, and shining a light on the future of travel. This year, Antigua and Barbuda has been heralded out as one of the destinations that are transforming the travel industry.
From banning single-use plastics to establishing a “Green Corridor” of environmentally friendly businesses, Antigua and Barbuda have made sustainability a priority.
Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda, has said that the islands are incredibly proud to have been recognized by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Awards. “As a nation, we are constantly striving to ensure sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do. Although we are a small country, we are pioneering initiatives to ensure that the beauty of our islands is preserved and nurtured for generations to come. The Sustainable Tourism department has made this a priority in Antigua and Barbuda, and within a short five year period, we are very proud of the progress that has been made and the example we have set.”
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, said, “The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is excited to celebrate this win with the Ministry of Tourism. This is an amazing accolade to receive as we continue to promote Antigua and Barbuda as a safe and responsible tourism destination.”
The twin-island nation has introduced several sustainable initiatives over the years, which include the following:
The Green Tourist Initiative, also known as the “Green Corridor”. This initiative aims to assist businesses in reducing the negative aspects of tourism on the environment by improving the efficiency of their operations. Under the “Green Corridor” initiative, Antigua has introduced the “Green Fins Programme”, a UNEP certification programme that provides support and guidance to snorkellers and divers – the only country in the Western hemisphere to have done so.
Antigua has introduced the Mapping of Natural and Cultural Heritage Sites to create awareness of tourism assets and attractions sites, to assist with the management of cultural and natural heritage. So far, 64 sites have been mapped out with their true histories being shared with tour guides, locals, and visitors alike. Under the Management of Historical Sites Antigua continues to work with the Sustainable Tourism Unit to restore and develop Betty’s Hope as a sustainably managed historical site.
Antigua seeks to maintain and enhance select communities under its Community Empowerment Project, to create a new tourism product that will create alternative livelihoods for members of those communities. Antigua has also introduced a Waste to Craft Management Project, to create further awareness among artisans and craftsmen on how waste can be reused in the accommodation sector.
Under its Destination Sustainable Tourism Monitoring Programme, Antigua aims to works with its residents to ensure satisfaction with the development of Tourism products. This is to ensure that residents feel they are a part of the process and are benefitting from Tourism. Antigua has also introduced the Destination Stewardship Committee, to engage leaders from government, the private sector, and the NGO community through a collaborative process to embed wise policies and practices into all levels of tourism planning, development, and management.
For more information on Antigua and Barbuda, go to www.visitantiguabarbuda.com
For more information on the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2021 list, go to www.lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel. Award destinations can also be explored with Lonely Planet’s Guides app for free and on social media channels via #BestInTravel.
ST. MARTIN/ST. MAARTEN
New York, NY (November 17, 2020) – The Office de Tourisme de Saint-Martin and the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau jointly created and launched a destination video that is intended to inspire and welcome visitors. The short clip captures the beauty and diversity of the island, highlighting nationals, activities, places to visit, and importantly, the culture of the island to showcase local artists and the uniqueness of both countries.
The video has been launched on the island and internationally and can be seen on both tourism offices’ official destination Instagram pages under the usernames @DiscoverSaintMartin and @VacationStMaarten and Facebook pages @iledesaintmartin @VacationStMaarten.
“Keeping visitors inspired and engaged is crucial in keeping the destination on the forefront, and having a captivating video is an effective way to spread awareness and capture the attention of viewers that are online. With this video, we hope to inspire future travelers to choose our island as their preferred destination to vacation,” said Aida Weinum, Director of the St. Martin Tourist Office.
May-Ling Chun, Director of Tourism at the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau, added, “Showing visually appealing content of the destination is essential, particularly on video which has proven to be one of the most effective tools in digital marketing because they are easily shared. This initiative is one of many that we plan to roll out to increase our presence within the market. We encourage everyone to view and share the video within their network to collectively increase its reach on social media,” said
The travel industry continues to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and many travel plans have been postponed until next year, so tour operators, hotels, and airlines are offering flexible cancellations options. Keeping visitors inspired and informed will continue to remain a top priority for both tourism offices whilst ensuring that the necessary protocols and guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are being communicated and followed. Nonetheless, both tourism offices will continue to work together to keep travelers inspired and dreaming of this island while welcoming visitors that are traveling at this time.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES PERMANENT SECRETARY GRANT HANDS OVER TO PERMANENT SECRETARY MC-BARNETT
KINGSTOWN, ST.VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES, November 16, 2020 – Earlier today, outgoing Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture Mrs. Laverne Grant handed over to the incoming Permanent Secretary, Dr. Resa Noel-McBarnett.
Permanent Secretary Noel-McBarnett assumed her new position in the Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development, and Culture, having previously served as the Director of Training in the Service Commissions Department.
Dr. Noel-McBarnett holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, an MPhil in Education from the University of Cambridge, UK, and a B.A. in Literature in English (Special) from the University of the West Indies. She has been a proud recipient of a Commonwealth Shared Cambridge Scholarship, the New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship, and the Sir Arthur Lewis Award.
The new Permanent Secretary says she is looking forward to working with the relevant stakeholders for the development of the destination.
Outgoing Permanent Secretary Grant has been appointed to the Ministry of Transport, Works, Lands and Surveys, having served in the Ministry of Tourism for the last fifteen (15) years.