Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Charles Fernandez (centre) greeted six of the nine US Travel Trade professionals who will sit on the ABTA’s US Market Travel Advisory Board, at a dinner attended by Sandals General Manager Matthew Cornall (far left) and US Director or Tourism Dean Fenton (far right). Photo credit: The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.
ST. JOHN’S, Antigua–The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) has selected a “dynamic” and “remarkable” group of travel trade professionals within the United States to sit on a new ABTA (USA) Travel Advisory Board for the period September 2022 -September 2023.
The board members, owners of travel businesses within the mid-west, south-east, east coast and west coast of the USA, have been selected because of their strong relationship with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s US Office, the passion they have for the destination and the important role they play in the travel industry, according to a press release from the ABTA.
The travel professionals have agreed to offer their assistance and guidance to the ABTA for a one-year period, as the Authority seeks to exponentially increase arrivals from the US market.
Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, Charles Fernandez, speaking at a dinner held at Sandals Grande Antigua Resort to recognize the newly selected board members, said, “I feel privileged and honored to be in your company … because I know of your commitment – and your mission – to help our tourism product grow.”
The minister thanked the group for their unwavering support particularly within recent years, and for their partnership. “We benefit from your knowledge and expertise, so I would also like to congratulate those of you who have had careers spanning more than 30 years in the travel industry and who are proud owners and managers in your respective field,” said the tourism minister.
Commenting on the week, US Director of Tourism Dean Fenton said, “The last few days have been very productive. The group has been engaged in strategic think tank sessions, producing big ideas that will help Antigua and Barbuda stand out and drive more business to the destination from the US.”
The trade partners spent five days in Antigua, familiarizing themselves with the newest destination updates, and brainstorming.
Chair of the Advisory Board Brenda O’Neale said, “The real purpose and mission of the Board is to create true value for the destination while we look forward, not backward, and present ideas that will allow the advanced uniqueness of Antigua and Barbuda to shine through. I am especially proud to be a part of a team that cares deeply about Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism and the travel industry at large.”
The 2022-2023 Board members are: Brenda O’Neale – With This Ring Destination Weddings and Honeymoons; Debra Brown – SmartBird World Travel; Susan Berman – Berman Travel; Terry Strauss – Dedham Travel; Niki Rakowitz – Care Travel; Edouard Jean – Massive Travels; Tom Varghese – Travel Tom; and Donna Borrelli – Hamden Travel.