The new Directors of Tourism for the USA and Canada, Ms. Kim Jack Riley and Mr. Colin Skerritt respectively, have introduced strategic and dynamic marketing plans with budgets to create the maximum impact in their markets.
These plans were outlined in a press conference on Tuesday, held at the headquarters of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA), which saw the Directors gathered with the CEO of the ABTA, Mr. Colin C. James and Consultant to the Ministry of Tourism, Ms. Shirlene Nibbs, to formally present these plans to the media and public.
For the largest market and most diverse market, USA, Ms. Jack Riley, presented a multi-dimensional plan to best suit the composition of the demographics which is comprised of 50 states featuring different types of travelers. Ms. Jack Riley stated, “The important focus for me is to bring the perspective that marketing to the United States is not one dimensional. It is multi-faceted because each state is different; therefore, my background in digital and destination travel marketing will assist greatly in bringing the US travelers to Antigua and Barbuda.”
Mr. Skerritt, with a background in Global Accounts Management and aviation, will broaden multi-cultural promotions in the Canadian market as well as look for strategies to reach the millennial traveler and focusing on increasing airlift from this key market. He is positive that in spite of the current economic situation in Canada, his efforts will meet with successful results. “As we look at the airlift into Antigua and understanding how we can better partner with our airline partners to ensure that we’ve got the frequency to bring passengers into Antigua and Barbuda and open Antigua to new markets through interconnecting flights. I’ve already reached out to many of the airlines and have begun discussions with them on their perspective,” said Mr. Skerritt.
Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, the Hon. Asot Michael spoke of the wealth of experience both new Directors bring with them to the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority at a gathering of local hoteliers to introduce them to key stakeholders in Antigua and Barbuda. He stated that, “While we still continue to focus on the major distribution channels of our business, including tour operators and travel agents, we must not lose sight of the tremendous values that we obtain from today’s technologies. Online marketing, e-commerce and social media tools will strategically increase Antigua and Barbuda’s digital footprint and overall visibility as a destination. Ms. Jack Riley and Mr. Skerritt have both shown their expertise in using these key tools in achieving powerful results. It is anticipated that with their collective professionalism, business ethics, experience, creativity and leadership, Antigua and Barbuda will achieve significant growth in travel from both the USA and Canada.”
Tourism Consultant, Ms. Shirlene Nibbs sees the placement of Ms. Jack Riley and Mr. Skerritt to head their respective markets as coming in-line with the new management approach that has been adopted by the Ministry of Tourism. “The selection of two different Directors for the US and Canadian markets is a responsible leadership and management approach where we do analysis and assessments to determine the needs within a changing world and industry. What we really recognise is that both markets at this particular time have different needs right now and they have a different method of distribution,” outlined Ms. Nibbs.
Both Directors will leverage the fact that Antigua and Barbuda has a unique product offering, with something for every type of traveler. Ms. Kim Jack Riley and Mr. Colin Skerritt have been on island for the past week engaging in a series of product familiarization tours and meetings with key tourism executives, which will aid and assist them in their destination marketing efforts.