The Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Asot Michael made an official visit to the New York offices of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda last Friday. The meeting was hosted by Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN); Ambassador, H.E. Walton “Aubrey” Webson and Minister Michael were joined by the Chairman of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, (ABTA) Mr. Rohan Hector. Antigua and Barbuda’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Conrad Hunte was also in attendance.
The Minister used the opportunity to meet and address the recently conjoined U.S. and Canada ABTA staff, headed by the ABTA Vice President of Sales and Marketing for North America, Mrs. Marie Walker. In his remarks the Minister expressed the importance of the team working towards delivering results for the country. “Tourism is our main engine growth and as the Minister with portfolio responsibility, I am accountable for ensuring that tourism increases employment for our nationals, earns more foreign exchange, provides revenue for our government and raises the national income,” Michael said. “You are a critical link in my ability to deliver real growth for the sector; therefore your duties are momentous.”
Minister Michael reminded the group of Prime Minister Gaston Browne’s vision to make Antigua and Barbuda an economic powerhouse. “I am determined to transform the way our tourism sector does business, so we keep pace and remain competitive with the changes in the marketplace” said Michael. He reiterated the value he places on the members of staff being mutually respectful, acting with integrity, working as a team, being loyal and working together to increase the number of visitors and meet the targeted growth in arrivals that has been set by the ABTA’s Board of Directors.
In a lively exchange, each staff member was given an opportunity to share their recommendations and provide insight into selling and marketing the destination and the Minister enthusiastically encouraged dialogue and asked for follow up.
The Minister’s visit to New York also includes meetings that fall under his Investment portfolio.