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TTC Special: Romance is crucial for Caribbean tourism

Photo: Pexels.

By Frank Martin

Among the good ideas to facilitate the complicated tourism reopening in the Caribbean is romance.

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, in association with the island Airport Authority, announced the ‘Love Lane’ offer for couples traveling to those islands in June.

An important part of the initiative is that next month will be of Romance for Antigua and Barbuda.

Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Marketing Communications Manager, Maria Blackman presents Wallings Nature Reserve Executive Director Refica Attwood with her Leading Light Award. Photo: courtesy the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.

The offer is very simple. It is based on a special treatment for tourists who want to have a longer “intimate moment” on their vacations.

‘Love Lane’ will begin at Bird International Airport, from June 1 to 30 and will be a kind of “fast lane” for lovers to quickly leave behind their immigration paperwork and  then can dedicate themselves to romance.

Those who go to Antigua and Barbuda to get married will have some preferences. Within the offer is a honeymoon that these tourists can select when they book the trip.

“We want all couples who visit Antigua and Barbuda to feel the love from the moment they arrive in the country,” the organizers stressed.

They explained that “the month of romance has been a fixture on the marketing calendar for over 10 years and now that we’re through the pandemic and couples can start planning their special occasions again, we want you to think about the charms of Antigua and Barbuda,” Shermain Jeremy, special projects and events marketing manager within the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, told reporters.

Because of that kind of innovations offers related to Romance, the Caribbean competition is getting tougher.

One regional list indicates that some islands are adding new loves offers. Turks and Caicos offers beautiful beaches and specialized accommodations, while Curacao bets on restaurants.

Saint Lucia advertises photographic services for memories of weddings or simple relationships and the Cayman Islands even islets.

“Everything is valid in (commercial) war and in love. Also, in the region’s goals of defeating the consequences that the tourism industry has faced in the last more than two years,” an area tour operator told TTC.

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) in its branch for the Americas is defending innovations and connectivity to advance tourism to its original levels.

Recently in the 67th meeting of the Regional Commission of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the Americas were considered that these two concepts are key to recovery.

The meeting in Punta del Este, Uruguay highlighted that in terms of finding solutions there is a solid unity of Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We will never be as strong as when we are united,” Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou said at the opening of the event.

The region is working intensively, according to experts.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, published in March 2022, revealed that there was a 5% rebound in international tourist arrivals in 2021 compared to 2020, but with levels “71% below those of 2019”, before of the pandemic.

The situation is not yet an easy goal to hit.  The losses suffered by the tourist world in the period 2020-2021

were 3.5 billion dollars in direct tourism gross domestic product. For 2022, heavy losses are still expected not only due to the modalities of Covid-19 but also, and mainly, due to the war in Ukraine.

One hope is that also in the range of innovations that are needed, love collaborate to conquers all.

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