TRANSFORMING OUR INDUSTRY: EVOLUTION, EXPERIENCE AND ENGAGEMENT

anguillian
By anguillian August 7, 2017 11:50 Updated

 

 

 

The following address was delivered by the President of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, Mr. Delroy Lake, at the opening ceremony of Marketing Week 2017 on Monday, July 24. The address was delivered to Anguilla’s overseas marketing representatives.

“Transforming our Industry: Evolution, Experience and Engagement”.

“Anguilla this year has had the fame of being named the number one island in the Caribbean by the readers of Travel & Leisure Magazine. In 2016, our stayover visitor arrivals were the highest to date with 79,239 visitors to our shores. The two previous statements, I am sure, are testament to the hard work of the Anguilla Representatives out in the marketplace – as well as our 15000 Anguillian Ambassadors here on the island. Yet with Anguilla having between 2000 rooms and 2300 rooms, if you factor in Villas not known or registered and AirBnb properties – by my calculations Anguilla’s Tourism annual occupancy is somewhere between 31 to no more than 35%.
“The aforementioned statements are given to set the stage for this week’s theme as set out by the Anguilla Tourist Board of “Transforming our Industry: Evolution, Experience and Engagement”. Despite Anguilla’s recent successes, the island’s occupancy is still at least 30% below the Caribbean average occupancy. Anguilla, for many years, has enjoyed a clientele looking for total peace and tranquility – where they came to Anguilla and did nothing but read a book on the beach, have dinner and possibly indulge in some of Anguilla’s entertainment. In order to transform this industry, and grow the number of visitors to our shores, we must first examine the new traveler and his or her needs. More and more experts are now saying that the new traveler is looking for destinations with history, culture and authentic experiences. Anguilla must be methodical in ensuring that we can use our rich history and culture to attract tourist to our shores. We must also understand that the quiet Anguilla that attracted many of our visitors in the past may not be enough to attract the next wave of travelers.
“Brand Anguilla has to be fully understood by our 15000 plus residents and they must buy into this concept. This ensures that when Brand Anguilla is sold in the marketplace, the traveler who buys a vacation and comes to our shores receives exactly what he or she has bought. Anguilla must always strive to exceed the expectations of our visitor. Anguilla will need to exhibit Quality at all levels in the industry, Quality at every place that a visitor may visit and certainly Quality in our environment.

“Anguilla must, in very short time, move its occupancy to that of the Caribbean’s average which is approximately 66%. This will require us to add another 65 thousand visitors to the current number. This will require us to strengthen Brand Anguilla’s name in the marketplace. This obviously requires funding. Some of our competitors have tried some methods that are working and thus increasing the number of visitors to their shores. Partnerships between the ATB and the tourism stakeholders should be established where hotels, restaurants and other stakeholders like villas, boat companies, car rentals etc. contribute to funding the marketing of the country. This creates visibility for Brand Anguilla and thus increases the Visibility to the traveler. I would just like to add that all that will be done, in the marketplace, will not be successful with increased airlift to the island. I am not necessarily talking about a new runway or airport but basically, in the first instance, creating meaningful linkages to the different hubs.
“Allow me to applaud the Chairperson of the Tourist Board and her team for coming up with the schedule for the week. It is a change in the way we have done the marketing meetings. The schedule allows for us to gather stakeholder views or recommendations, then allows for a group of us to go into caucus where we look at our competitors, we look at ourselves, where we want to go – and allows us in the end to come up with a way to get there. I look forward to frank and honest discussion over the next few days where we can use the information gathered to chart the path forward for tourism in Anguilla.”

anguillian
By anguillian August 7, 2017 11:50 Updated
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