More than 40 tourism-related projects, totaling approximately $1.4 billion, will be completed on Antigua and Barbuda in the next five years, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The development projects are part of the ministry's strategic plan "to expand and strengthen the destination experience for guests," according to Harold Lovell, minister of tourism.

Representing a combination of new hotels, restaurants, residential units and sports facilities, "Each project is an indication of our partners' and investors' confidence in the current and future tourism product," Lovell said.

Several of the hotel projects include: 

  • Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa is undergoing a $70 million expansion, including a 180-suite Mediterranean Village that also will feature 11 one-bedroom suites with plunge pools. The expansion will bring to nine the number of restaurants at the resort (up from five). Opening date of the new village section is set for February 2007.

  • Best Western will open its first property in Antigua. The $35 million Best Western Dikenson Bay Palace Resort will be completed in two phases with the first being a 100-room, all-inclusive property. No timetable has been announced.

  • A two-phase, $13.2 million upgrade at Blue Waters resort will be completed by spring 2007.

  • The $28 million Verandah, a new Elite Island Resort property, is under construction and will include 150 rooms when completed in late 2007.

  • Work is scheduled to start soon on an $8.7 million luxury resort on Barbuda consisting of 40 wooden bungalow suites near Pelican Bay. The project is a joint venture between the government of Antigua and Barbuda and the Miami-based Market Positioning Group.
  • In the sports arena, the new Sir Vivian Richards Stadium is on target to host the 2007 International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup next spring.

    The $54 million stadium will have a seating capacity of 10,000, although additional seating will be arranged to accommodate the 20,000 visitors expected during World Cup.

    For information on Antigua and Barbuda, visit www.antigua-barbuda.org.

    To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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