Montserrat welcomes over 20K visitors, first time in 24 years
For the first time since the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted in 1995, over 20,000 visitor arrivals were recorded in Montserrat.
In a release, the islands tourism division reported a 14% increase in tourists visiting the island. For the period January to December 2019, 20,956 visitor arrivals were recorded, compared to 18,338 for the same period in 2018.
Tourism Director, Warren Solomon said: “We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to surpass the threshold of 20,000 visitors. It tells us that we’re on the right track with our marketing initiatives and that if we are able to be consistent in our delivery, we could continue the growth trend.”
According to data revealed by the Statistics Department, there was a 1% growth in visitor spend which amounted to $27 million.
Product Development Officer, Rosetta-West Gerald said the Tourism Division is confident that its product development initiatives would stimulate increased financial activity by visitors to the island.
Their plan includes enhancements to the trail network and beach facilities, service training in the tourism sector and the construction of a Volcano Interpretive Centre.
Ms Rosetta-West revealed: “We recently launched a new survey tool that will capture both the sentiments of our visitors as well as more accurate estimates of their expenditure. This will allow us to better understand both the positive or negative impacts of our product offerings and make adjustments where necessary.”
This year, the Tourism Division plans to launch a new website which it hopes will enhance its digital marketing capabilities. It also plans to employ a more aggressive approach to targeting the group and excursion markets in Antigua and Barbuda, while also attending a number of trade and consumer initiatives in the US, UK and Canada.