Ft. LAUDERDALE, Florida – USA, 21st August, 2014……..Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy Minister the Hon. Asot Michael has told officials of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association that exciting plans are ahead for the tourism product in Antigua and Barbuda.
“Antigua and Barbuda welcome the decision by our key cruise partners to increase calls for the upcoming season and we pledge to do our part in facilitating those calls. It is government’s intention to improve the inner St. John’s Harbour significantly. Dredging and sweeping of the channels and turning basins will commence before the 2015 tourism season, and will end before many of the megaships begin to set sail. We also plan to transform the St. John’s Harbour and the lands encasing the inland sea,” Minister Michael announced.
The country’s Tourism Minister said that in addition to the construction of a boardwalk, shops and restaurants, a hotel will be constructed on the seafront making the area far more picturesque and economically vibrant. “This will be a boon to cruise ship passengers who venture to our shores. The plan is to transform the Point area and turn the neighbourhood into a vibrant economic zone,” he said.
Minister Michael who was speaking to the FCCA officials while on a special visit to Miami also announced that hundred of millions of dollars will be invested in enlarging capacity, ensuring a more modern infrastructure, and improving the visitor experience.
The Tourism Minister also told the cruise executives that Nelson’s Dockyard, one of the country’s premier tourist sites will become a part of a new Economic Development Zone. “The newly legislated zone will encourage very low-density winter housing, not unlike the successful yacht and boat basin around the island of Sardinia close to the Italian mainland. These are exciting plans and we are determined to ensure that they are started and completed.”
The FCCA executives following the Minister’s presentation announced that they are prepared to work with the Government in ensuring that the plans are realized. “We are excited about these plans and will do all within our means to work with your administration to make them become a reality,” one FCCA official remarked.