“Our aggressive policy of property development will add 2,500 to 3,000 rooms in the next three years,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism Asot Michael. In fact, added Prime Minister Gaston Browne, “we will soon double our room stock from 3,500 to 7,000 rooms.”
They were speaking at a dinner during Caribbean Week NY 2015, and sitting a few feet from this reporter was the actor Robert De Niro. What was De Niro doing at a travel trade event—a heist, perhaps? Actually, he is building a luxury resort on Barbuda.
Just last weekend a luxury boutique property, the Barbuda Belle Luxury Resort Cedar Tree Point, opened there, too, and between that and other projects, sleepy Barbuda is certainly part of this campaign for economic development. That said, Minister Michael pointed out that only small ships that can tender people to shore will be able to call on Barbuda, which he dubbed “the eco-island.”
The development campaign also includes:
- A new, 450-room Royalton resort next to the Royal Antiguan.
- A 400-room Beaches resort.
- Callaloo Bay, a five-star being built by a Dubai sheik who is also creating a national park.
- A Setai condominium and resort project that will cost its Chinese developers about $2 billion.
- Chinese developers are also transforming the cruise ship facilities in St. John, and they’ll build a new casino there.
- The completion this fall of the new terminal at the V.C. Bird International Terminal, which will be able to handle nearly 2 million passengers a year. JetBlue begins new nonstop flights there Nov. 5, and, said Michael, “This will be the most modern airport in the Caribbean.”
For more information on Antigua and Barbuda, call (212) 541-4118 or (416) 961-3085; visit visitantiguabarbuda.com.