Hosted by the Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, the Honorable Daryl Matthew welcomed key figures in the UK travel industry to hear the island’s news for the annual celebration of Antigua’s emancipation, history and culture. Minister Matthew was joined by Mrs Petley O’Keefe -Knight, Director of Festivals Commission, Mr Gilbert Findlay, Manager at Myst, and Mr Lenroy Brown, the owner of Insane, Antigua’s premier mas troupe and carnival experience.
2019 will see the traditional event given a twist with a vibrant Africa theme – encompassing the island’s flair in costume and design, mouth-watering gastronomy and of course the breathtaking backdrop of Antigua’s beaches. The Tourism Authority will be working with agents on a number of exciting initiatives and packages which will showcase the island’s accommodation and exclusive access to shows and parties. The Tourism Authority has placed a greater emphasis on initiatives to grow the UK’s summer bookings and has been working with the Festivals Commission to augment packages to encourage visitors to Antigua between June to August.
Furthermore, the carnival spirit will continue back in the UK with a cooperative initiative between Antigua’s carnival and those hosted on UK soil, further strengthening the collaboration between Antigua and the UK tourism sector. In addition to the event the delegation met with the Director of the Notting Hill Carnival Association and the Chair of the Leicester Association to look at strategic partnerships and opportunities to promote all carnivals. With approximately 15,000 Antiguans and Barbudans living in Leicester, the second largest community outside of London, it’s the ideal location to bring Antigua’s carnival to the diaspora community.
Speaking about the launch event, Daryl Matthew commented “It was a fantastic opportunity to be in London this week to launch Antigua’s 2019 carnival and share with the UK a taste of what’s to come. I was delighted to see such a strong attendance of social media influencers, tour operators and our key industry partners. It is clear from the positive response that the UK is excited to work with the tourist board going forward in promoting Antigua’s 2019 carnival and beyond”.