The twin-island destination in the Eastern Caribbean will implement a new tourism action agenda, following consultation with more than 50 stakeholders in the private and government sectors.
The plan will focus on three initiatives: development of a sustainable tourism strategy; new community-based cultural tourism products; and the mapping of cultural heritage sites.
The plan was developed during a recent sustainable-destination assessment workshop coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, conducted under the banner of the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas, which was supported through funding from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Ocean Fund.
“Based on the assessment, we are performing well as it relates to making sustainable tourism a priority,” said Asot Michael, Antigua and Barbuda's minister of tourism.
“However, the findings showed some critical areas we need to address, including the need to establish quality and sustainability standards for key sectors of the industry, the need to improve visitor planning and the need to improve coastal zone management,” Michael said.
The projects were selected based on their potential to increase the long-term viability and positive impacts of tourism. The goal is to bring the three key initiatives to fruition and to produce tangible results within the next 12 months.
“We are confident we can further improve the way we manage tourism, our most critical sector, to ensure its long-term sustainability,” the minister said.
In addition to the action agenda, Antigua and Barbuda will receive an online monitoring tool and a tourism-training program to be used in marketing and communications.
“We’re optimistic about the actions that Antigua and Barbuda plan to ensure the destination as a viable place to live, work and travel,” said Rich Pruitt, vice president, safety and environmental stewardship for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.