ANTOR News

2016 News from Antigua and Barbuda

01 December 2015

The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean looks forward to a positive 2016. This follows a booming 2015, with the opening of a number of new hotels and a new airport terminal.

Antigua and  Barbuda Tourism Authority

The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean looks forward to a positive 2016. This follows a booming 2015, with the opening of a number of new hotels and a new airport terminal. Key for 2016 are celebrations around the 60th anniversary of Carnival and 35 year anniversary of Antigua and Barbuda’s independence, as well as cruise developments. 

KEY ANNIVERSARIES FOR 2016

  • In July 2016, the Antigua Carnival will celebrate its 60th anniversary.
  • On 1st November 2016, Antigua and Barbuda will celebrate 35 years of independence.
  • On 1st November 2016, St. Johns will celebrate 35 years as the capital city of Antigua and Barbuda.
  • In addition, in 2017, the national flag and national anthem of Antigua will be 50 years old, symbolic of the achievement of self-governance and a new era in the nation’s history.

key NEWS

60th anniversary of Carnival in Antigua

The Antigua Carnival will celebrate its 60th anniversary from 23rd July to 5th August 2016. Otherwise known as the Caribbean’s greatest summer festival, the Carnival provides a colourful insight into the culture of the country. It is a ten-day festival of colourful costumes, beauty pageants, talent shows and music. This energetic festival intensifies as Carnival Monday and Tuesday approach with party lovers embracing the lively music and costumed parades throughout the day and night. For more information, please visit: antiguacarnival.com  

 

Robert De Niro Plans For Luxury Hotel in Barbuda

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda has appointed actor Robert De Niro as Special Economic Envoy of the twin-island nation. The appointment came after De Niro signed a memorandum of agreement last November for a $250 million hotel investment in Barbuda. De Niro and Australian businessman James Packer will help renovate and expand a former five-star luxury resort that closed several years ago, with building work to start in 2016.

 

Cruise Developments

To position Antigua and Barbuda as a key destination within the Eastern Caribbean for cruise visitors, efforts are continuing to enhance the visitor experience on the island.  The development of St John’s Harbour continues and the port facilities, heritage sites, land-based facilities, shopping and transportation services are currently being improved. The St. John’s harbour is also presently being swept and will be dredged to accommodate the larger vessels.

 

Eco-Friendly Cruising on Antigua’s Sister Island of Barbuda

Barbuda has emerged as a green cruising destination welcoming smaller luxury cruise lines with discerning cruisers. The island now receives calls from Europa, Ponant, Sea Dream, Club Med, Black Watch, Windsurf and Wind Spirit.  A nature lover’s paradise, the island is filled with experiences that are sure to appeal to eco-aware cruisers.

 

Launch of Antigua and Barbuda’s New Excursions Guide for 2016
Hot off the press for 2016 is the new Antigua and Barbuda Excursions Guide, featuring the ‘must-see’ attractions and ‘must-do’ tours and excursions on land, sea and even in the sky! Highlights from the guide include the D-Boat, a floating amusement centre, Sea Escape, a magical sea shuttle excursion and Stingray City, a unique snorkelling experience with the brightest rays in the Caribbean.

New Airport Terminal

The new airport terminal on Antigua has been open and fully operational since 24 August 2015. The new terminal ensures that there is a smoother, more seamless passage of incoming and outgoing passengers as the existing terminal building was at capacity and many airlines had a very short turnaround time. The new airport can accommodate 1,777 passengers per hour, is 23,000 square meters spread over two floors, with state-of-the-art equipment, from baggage makeup systems to full baggage screening and four loading bridges. The airport serves as the gateway to the Eastern Caribbean and beyond. (Antigua is already the most inter-connected nation in the Caribbean due to the service LIAT offers from its base there.) For more information, please visit: www.vcbia.com

 

NEW TOUR OPERATOR PRODUCT

New Island Hopping Itineraries from Ramblers Worldwide Holidays and Exodus

Both Ramblers Worldwide Holidays and Exodus have introduced island hopping itineraries for 2016, which include time in Antigua. 

 

The 13 day West Indies Explored tour from Exodus visits St. Lucia, Antigua and Dominica.  Four days are spent in Antigua, exploring the region’s colonial history, its stunning beach and Caribbean vibe. Time on St. Lucia and Dominica includes a drive in volcano and whale watching.  Accommodation is in two star standard hotels, chosen for their location.  There are three trip departures in 2016 in April, October and December and the trip costs from £2,749 per person. This includes return flights, accommodation, breakfast and all guiding. For more information, please visit; www.exodus.co.uk

Walking holiday specialist, Ramblers, has introduced a 14 day Antigua, St. Lucia and Dominica itinerary. Time in Antigua includes a rainforest hike, exploring the capital, St John’s and time to swim at one of Antigua’s famed 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. Other highlights include Dominica’s sulphur springs, walking in St Lucia’s UNESCO Piton World Heritage site and a Caribbean cooking experience. There are five departure dates in 2016, with prices starting from £3,099 per person. This includes return flights, all transfers, most meals and experienced local guides. For more information, please visit; www.ramblersholidays.co.uk

 

NEW HOTELS
Barbuda Belle, Barbuda

Barbuda Belle opened during summer 2015. The boutique hotel is located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, 11 Mile Beach on Barbuda. Each of the six beachfront bungalows have their own private large balcony, with stunning views of the nearby mangroves of the Codrington Lagoon Park.  This family owned hotel takes pride in highlighting the beauty of Barbuda with its nature friendly concept and gourmet seafood restaurant, The Mangrove, which uses local produce.  For more information, please visit; www.barbudabelle.com  

 

South Point, Antigua

South Point opened during spring 2015. South Point is an exciting new development situated in the yachting community of Falmouth South Point, offering twenty-three stylish residences, perfect for a sailing holiday or as a holiday home. A boat taxi is available at no additional cost for guests wishing to visit the nearby Pigeon Beach. A fresh water pool sits adjacent to a small but well-maintained private beach and jetty, with a spa and fitness centre opening in winter 2015. In addition to the hotel’s own lounge and waterfront restaurant, the surrounding area offers several cafés, restaurants, and boutiques, as well as a sports facility (including tennis courts), each adding to the area’s cosmopolitan atmosphere. For more information, please visit; www.southpointantigua.com

 

Key Events in 2016

Antigua Yacht Club- Round the Island Race

16th January, 2016

The Round the Island Race involves beautiful yachts circumnavigating the island and returning to the Antigua Yacht Club.

 

International Kite Festival 

27th March, 2016

Kite flying is a preferred activity all over the Caribbean over the Easter weekend, and Antigua is no exception. The sunny Antiguan skies are filled with colourful kites guided by young and old, an ideal family day out.

For more information, please visit; www.antiguanice.com/v2/client.php?id=865

 

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

13th - 19th April, 2016

Antigua Classic Regatta, hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club has been running since 1988. The regatta continues to see a vast diversity of yachts, including traditional crafts from the islands, classic ketches, sloops, schooners and yawls making the bulk of the fleet, together with the newer yachts and tall ships. For more information, please visit; antiguaclassics.com

 

Antigua Sailing Week

16th April, 2016

Antigua Sailing Week attracts hundreds of yachts from all over the globe with some of the fastest, most powerful racing machines battling it out in the blue arena surrounding Antigua. From small beginnings in 1968, this regatta has developed over the past 48 years to become one of the preeminent yacht racing events in the Caribbean and one of the most prestigious in the world. Over 100 yachts participate every year ranging in size from 24 feet to over 100 feet. For more information, please visit; www.sailingweek.com

 

Antigua Tennis Week

30th April, 2016

An established favourite on the international tennis calendar, Antigua Tennis Week is hosted by three of the biggest names in the game, Fred Stolle, Ross Case and Owen Davidson. Part pro- tennis event and part party, it mixes match play, instructional clinics, social events and relaxation at the Curtain Bluff resort. Tennis enthusiasts of all levels are welcome. For more information, please visit www.curtainbluff.com/tennis/events.html

 

60th Anniversary of Carnival in Antigua

23rd July, 2016

The Antigua Carnival will celebrate its 60th Anniversary in 2016. Otherwise known as the Caribbean’s greatest summer festival, the Carnival provides a colourful insight into the culture of the country. It is a ten-day festival of colourful costumes, beauty pageants, talent shows, and music. This energetic festival intensifies as Carnival Monday and Tuesday approach with party lovers embracing the lively music and costumed parades throughout the day and night. For more information, please visit; antiguacarnival.com

 

Barbuda Caribana Celebrations

13th-16thMay, 2016

Five days of festivities in Barbuda, including the Caribana queen show, calypso competition, dancing in the streets and many activities. The festival is an explosion of culture and excitement, with highlights including the Leewards islands Classic Horse Race, the car and bike show, a fun filled beach bash and mouth-watering seafood and wildlife delights at the food fair.

 

The Mango Festival 

August- date TBC

The Mango Festival offers every imaginable mango-made delight, from soaps and preserves to candles and wine. A mango market, mango products, exhibitions, culinary cook off finals, children’s activities, games, mango-eating competitions, tours of the nature trails and other entertainment will be available at the festival. 

For more information, please visit Facebook.com/annualmangofes

 

Antigua and Barbuda Independence Festival
1st November, 2016

In celebration of Antigua and Barbuda’s independence in 1981, the island holds a ceremonial parade, with marching bands and fetes, along with a series of other formal celebrations over about ten days toward the end of October.

 

ENDS

Media Information

For media enquiries, please contact Minty Woolgar or Amelia Astley Birtwistle at The Brighter Group on Antigua@brightergroup.com or telephone 020 7326 9880.

For further information on Antigua and Barbuda please visit: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

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