Antigua & Barbuda has an excellent and well-deserved reputation in tourism. The industry dominates the national economy and is the most important source of foreign exchange and foreign direct investment in the country. The Government is committed to the development of the industry by supporting the diversification of the tourism product, increased marketing support through the Tourism Authority and supporting investment in infrastructure.
Antigua & Barbuda is aiming to build on its traditional strengths with, for example, an immediate investment opportunity for a new five star, ‘non-resort’, luxury business hotel. In addition, new opportunities are opening up for increased investment in more diversified activities related to tourism such as:
- health and wellness tourism
- eco-tourism and nature tourism
- cultural and heritage tourism
Today’s increasingly discerning tourists are looking for innovative and new tourism product offerings. Antigua & Barbuda provides good opportunities for investors to capitalize on the country’s tradtional strenghts in tourism to invest in new businesses which can cater to this demand. Under the country’s Tourism Development Strategy a wide variety of specific business opportunties have been identified across the islands. Full details of all of these investment opportunities are available from ABIA. A sampling of some of these business opportunities are shown here:
Located on a headland on the entrance to St Johh’s Harbor, the Fort site is easily accessible from downtown St Johns and the Cruise ship berths. The project site is approximately 67 acres (27 hectares) and provides access to a fine white sand beach.
The Fort was built in 1706 by the British to guard the harbor from French invasion. Significant structures remain, including the powder magazine, several old cannons, the Fort’s foundation wall and an old jetty. The site provides an excellent view of the harbor and the fine public beach.
The business opportunity arises from the fact that the site is ideally suited for development of a Day Time Resort to serve the local population, cruise passengers and both business and tourist hotel guests. It also offers good potential for residential units on site as well as for a new marina.
St John’s Harbor
A privately-owned (Ryan Property) waterfront site of 2 acres (0.8 hectares) located adjacent to the Cruise ship terminal offers good potential for a branded business hotel with conference facilities as part of the redevelopment strategy for the urban core and cruiseship port. It has the potential to become a solid south anchor to the waterfront walk, as well as a needed new lodging facility in the downtown area. The site is flat and offers open views onto St Johns Harbor and easy pedestrian connectivity to the historic and retail core of St John
An area of 91 acres (37 hectares) of land and 37 acres (15 hectares) of water exists at Deep Bay only ten minutes by car from St Johns. The area is an ideal day trip destination for locals or visitors who want to spend a day relaxing on the beach. The site has a magnificent natural configuration, with a beautiful arched beach protected by a steep peninsula, a natural lagoon, and a backdrop of steep slopes offering sweeping views over the ocean. The site is rich in history, with the 1779 Fort Barrington towering on the peninsula, and a 100-year old shipwreck in the middle of the bay.
Deep Bay is a backbone project of the country’s Tourism Development Strategy, integrating several key themes.?This aims to combine both government and private properties, to create an integrated development, with Marina facilities, associated mixed-use marina village, and the Fort restoration connected to a local Park & Day Beach. A further business opportunity exists to complement these amenities with a new branded 5-star Hotel, with branded and non branded villas located along the beach, lagoon and hillside.
Mount Obama National Park
Located amid a bulge of hills in the less developed southwest coast area of Antigua, Mt Obama National Park covers 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares). It was created to protect large-scale ecological processes, species and ecosystems and to provide a foundation for compatible educational, recreational and visitor opportunities. It includes the last remaining wet and dry forest in Antigua, significant biodiversity in plants and birds, outstanding scenery, and genetic material of the Black Pineapple, grown at Christian Valley and Cades Bay. Historically, the ridges were used as a sanctuary for slaves in their struggle for freedom. The valleys have a rich agricultural and medicinal herb heritage.
A good business opportunity exists for investment in a boutique hotel to accommodate visitors to the Park. Mt Obama is envisioned as the premier Ecotourism destination on the island, and key to diversify Antigua’s identity. The goal is to develop both, day-park facilities and a boutique hotel for longer overnight stays. The north side of the mountain is best suited for lodging as it offers access to Cades Bay beach.
Galleon Beach is a privately-owned 25 acres (10 hectares) site located on the south coast of Antigua at the entrance of English Harbor, Antigua’s premier yachting center and most established luxury destination. The English & Falmouth Harbor area is a complete and exclusive community featuring historic Nelson Dockyard, Antigua’s Yacht Club, Temo Sports and Spring Hill Riding Stables. The surrounding area is a beautiful blend of white sandy beaches, rolling hills, tropical vegetation, nautical atmosphere, and historical sites.
Galleon Beach is a magnificent property shaped as a natural amphitheater, with spectacular views over Freeman’s Bay and the anchored yachts, from any point on site. It has a half-mile direct frontage to the fine beach and a vegetated high promontory on its south end. Galleon Beach is considered a key site within the Tourism Strategy to further develop the best of Antigua’s high- end tourism, and to provide much needed lodging in English Harbor. The business opportunity is for the development of a high-end boutique hotel with a residential component to form a ‘one-of-a-kind’ high-end resort.
Islands Paradise Resorts
Located on the northeast coast of Antigua, Island Paradise Resorts consists of three islands -Guiana, Crump and Rabbit – plus undeveloped land in the Crump Peninsula. The total area is 1,517 acres (614 hectares). The islands are located within the North Sound Marine Park, an area rich in natural resources, marine land bird life, frequented by nature lovers for kayaking, reef snorkeling, and bird watching. The islands’ terrain combines sandy beaches, gentle slopes, upland, and cliffs with commanding views.
The Tourism Development Strategy seeks to position the islands as a sustainable development destination that will serve to protect, enhance and manage the rich natural resources in the area. The business opportunity is for a low density golf and yachting community, with luxury boutique hotel, villas and estates, planned with sustainable development criteria.