Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador Dario Item sees bright future for tourism sector

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His Excellency Dr. Article by Dario, Ambassador of Antigua to Spain, Monaco and Liechtenstein, remains at the forefront of revitalizing the travel industry to its pre-COVID levels.

The Honorable Gaston Browne, Premier of Antigua (left) and Barbuda and His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Dario Item (law)

Antigua and Barbuda reopens its doors

It has been about 3 months since Antigua and Barbuda reopened its borders for tourists. With others Caribbean countries in the region, it aims to maximize the remaining months of the year to regain momentum and revitalize its tourism industry. The industry was on the rise until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The end of 2019 saw its tourism figures at an all time high. This was followed by a record performance for the industry in the first two months of 2020, until the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world.

Optimism in the country’s tourism

Despite the extent of the initial damage the pandemic caused to the country, Dr Dario Item remains optimistic and firm about its future: “Antigua and Barbuda, especially its people, have a culture of resilience. This is ingrained in our history and the tourism department, as well as the diplomatic caucus in Europe, are convinced that we are bound to surpass pre-COVID statistics in terms of tourism, ”the ambassador said in an exclusive interview.

Antigua and Barbuda visitors welcomed again in June. The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) and the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association also launched the Space Points Rewards Program which encourages its residents to support the economy by dining out.

The country has once again opened up the opportunity for us to visit the endless coasts of the majestic Caribbean. At the time of writing, the country is safe for tourists to visit. According to Embassy update, there are virtually no active cases reported in the country.

Ensure the safety of tourists and residents

According to Hon. Charles Henri Fernandez, the Minister of Tourism and Investment, the country’s Ministry of Health, has determined that it is safe for the country to reopen its doors to visitors. The country has encouraged its potential visitors to observe health protocols to help ensure the health and safety of its residents and tourists. The health guidelines aim to help ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation for its tourists and residents.

Barbuda Pink Sand Beach, Source: Embassy.ag

It was a courageous but calculated move for the government of Antigua and Barbuda. The country’s leaders recognize the dependence of their economy on tourism and, at the same time, the risk of an increase in COVID-19 cases. The tourism department has developed a comprehensive plan that approaches the reopening with a balance between safety and health protocols with only the right balance of compromises with the goal of visiting Antigua and Barbuda tourist destinations.

Its tourism workforce which is at the forefront of the tourism industry has been empowered to facilitate new health and safety protocols that would ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for every tourist. The regulations also promote a safer environment for residents of Antigua and Barbuda. “Greeting you warmly and with a smile, even behind a mask” has become the appropriate mantra of restaurants, resorts and other tourist establishments on the islands.

The same hospitality, with enhanced health and safety

Dr Dario Item, points out that Antigua and Barbuda is best known for diplomatic relations with its neighboring countries in the Americas as well as other regions of the world. “The country remains a gracious host to its friends from North and South America, Europe and other continents. We have worn this badge of hospitality throughout the country’s existence and this trait will certainly withstand the duration and onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. “

How can you help

The positive outlook for Article by Dr Dario was supported and resonated by his colleagues in the European Caucus whose COVID-19 fundraising campaign continues with struggling. On the Embassy website, you can find information on how to support Antigua and Barbuda during this difficult time.

The continuous program deployment assistance hygiene and health kits to essential government sectors. The move helped support the country’s agenda in revitalizing its tourism sectors while also empowering and protecting its frontliners by effectively providing needed services amid the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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