Anguilla, which has long targeted the upper end of the leisure market, plans to develop a more diversified and competitive year-round product line to attract a broader clientele, according to Hubert Hughes, the island nation's chief minister.
Hughes said that the new 10-year Sustainable Tourism Master Plan for Anguilla "will serve as the blueprint for our tourism development: a formal, long-term plan that the government will use as a reference for informed decision-making related to our tourism planning."
Components of the plan include a tourism assessment unit to ensure that Anguilla provides training to meet the long-term human resource needs of the industry.
One long-term goal is to make tourism a year-round business, rather than just a winter industry, according to Hughes.
"My government, with our new tourist board, will play a pivotal role in the development and organization of activities and events, with a focus on the soft periods, to increase visitor numbers," Hughes said.
To encourage more boat racing, which Hughes described as the "island's national sport," the government removed all taxes related to the equipment for race boats to increase the number of boats and events.
The Anguilla Tennis Academy will expand to include a 1,000-seat stadium.
The development of heritage tourism will include the preservation of indigenous sites such as Big Spring and Fountain Cavern, according to Hughes.
Air and sea access "is the lifeline of any tourism destination," Hughes said, pointing out that three local airline companies now offer daily connecting flights from San Juan, St. Maarten and St. Barts.
Ferry access from Simpson Bay Lagoon in St. Maarten to Anguilla "will be significantly improved," according to the chief minister.