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Antigua-Barbuda collaborates with LIAT in destination drive in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Published on June 14, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- The destination of Antigua and Barbuda was represented by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) and the Ministry of Tourism when it once again partnered with Caribbean regional airline LIAT in a destination drive recently held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The destination continues to work diligently alongside the Caribbean’s leading regional air carrier to continue to build destination awareness, and increase market share within the Caribbean market. The San Juan destination drive was the first in a series of regional road shows that are planned for the Caribbean market to encourage an increase in arrivals from visitors from within the region.

The destination drive was primarily consumer focused. The ABTA, along with representatives from the St Lucia Tourist Board and LIAT, distributed destination promotional material about Antigua and Barbuda that worked directly in conjunction with a special round-trip fare of USD$254, currently being offered by LIAT out of Puerto Rico for the month of June.

As a part of the promotion, both destinations and the regional carrier gave a presentation to a packed audience. The presentation highlighted each island’s tourism offering and stimulated interest in the destinations and LIAT. One very surprised audience member, who answered a question correctly about Antigua and Barbuda, won a trip for two to Antigua and Barbuda compliments of LIAT.

Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation John Maginley complimented the Tourism Authority on its strategy to boost arrivals from Puerto Rico. “Activities like these will drive regional tourism figures from our Caribbean neighbours, while at the same actively supporting LIAT the Caribbean’s regional airline. This is critical to the growth of our air traffic and ultimately the economic sustainability of Antigua and Barbuda and the entire region.”

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Colin James added that this is a renewed push into SJU in conjunction with LIAT, which offers direct daily access to Puerto Rico; this comes on the heels of the departure of American Eagle from the region and a focus by the Authority to develop a series of Spanish-language promotional material to better market the destination to the large number of affluent Puerto Rican residents who are an important segment to target for stay-over arrivals.

Marketing manager of the ABTA, Charmaine Spencer, commented on the importance of not only maintaining the strategic relationship with LIAT but the significance of the Destination Drive by saying, ”We saw good value from the destination promotion, as we were able to gather information on top-producing Puerto Rican travel agents, in addition to recognizing first-hand that many Puerto Ricans are familiar with Antigua and Barbuda through cruising, with many of the consumers inquiring more about the local tours and attractions and hotel packages, through the destination drive we were able to provide them first-hand with this information.”

The ABTA plans to continue to work with LIAT over the summer months on a number of destination promotions geared at increasing regional arrival figures and improving awareness about leading on-island events and festivities.
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Karen Steele:

We recently flew into Antigua from St. Lucia with connections to St. Maarten on LIAT. It was the absolute worst airline experience ever! People were stranded from the day before, our flight was delayed/cancelled and LIAT reps had no idea what was going on or at least did not bother to tell us. The Caribbean needs a good regional carrier in these tough times and LIAT needs a complete makeover including a name change because no one in the airport that day will EVER fly LIAT again if they can avoid it. In fact, I had wanted to return to Antigua for vacation again but will probably never do so as a result of this bad experience.


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