ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Friday March 17, 2017 – The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) recently stepped up advertising efforts in the United Kingdom ahead of the traditional April sales period to increase summer business for the twin-island destination.
“We felt the need to create a boost in summer 2017 bookings from the United Kingdom ahead of the usual April advertising period, and decided to work with one of our largest tour operator partners in the UK, Virgin Holidays,” explained Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority CEO, Colin James.
The initiative saw Virgin Holidays launch a shop take-over across all its 100 stores in the UK. Virgin Holidays for the first time allowed a destination to have leaflets across its network of stores, a large central banner and take-over of the shop plasma screens with the Antigua & Barbuda destination video featuring internationally recognized cricketing hero Sir Vivian Richards, inviting visitors to Antigua and Barbuda.
All Virgin Holidays staff were incentivized to sell Antigua and Barbuda from March 9-15 and customers were made aware of destination offers, through an e-mail newsletter and a social media push.
Targeted adverts in the national press including The Guardian, The Times and Telegraph appeared on March 11 and 14 to create awareness for the promotion and the special offers.
At a local level, individual Virgin Holidays shops worked to create a buzz within their local communities. Antigua and Barbuda Carnival dancers were present at one of the largest shopping centres in the UK, Bluewater’s in Kent, while Twitter was used to raise awareness of the Antigua and Barbuda Virgin Holiday offers. Many more initiatives are also being undertaken.
The UK market accounted for approximately 77,000 stay-over visitors to the destination in 2016 with UK visitors staying 9 nights on average which amounts to 346,500 room nights.