The Minister of Tourism, Environment, Heritage and Culture, Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith along with senior executives from her Ministry and the Tourist Board recently completed a visit to London where the central focus was building stronger relationships with key partners in the tourism industry.
The Minister along with Permanent Secretary- Mrs. Desiree Lewis, Chair of the Tourist Board- Mr. Don Gardiner and Director of Tourism- Mr. Ralph Higgs, met at the TCI London Office to discuss with the TCI Tourist Board representative a wide range of topics, chief amongst them, the strengthening of the islands presence in the European market.
The Minister stressed that one of her key priorities for her Ministry is to grow the numbers of tourist arrivals from Europe, especially since the TCI now benefits from having two flights from London Gatwick via Antigua. “The European market is one that we as a destination can greatly benefit from. One of my goals is to see this market grow and a key component to that is first, coming here and directly learning from the representatives and stakeholders how best this could be achieved” said Hon. Stubbs-Smith.
The Minister and her delegation hosted a luncheon for a number of stakeholders that represent numerous resorts and organizations including: the CTO UK Chapter Manager, Representatives for Amanyara, Gansevoort, Turquoise Holidays, BA Holidays, Beaches and Equator Learning, which is the Tourist Board’s online travel agents training programme in the United Kingdom and Italy.
Another meeting during the two-day visit of the Minister and other TCI officials was with Kylie Bamford, the Marine Conservation Manager with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Overseas Territories Directorate. The meeting provided the delegation with an update on Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) Blue Belt policy for the overseas territories.