Exclusivity drives new Barbuda travel marketing campaign

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s (ABTA) new travel marketing campaign will focus exclusively on the two-island nation’s little sister, officials said on Monday. The new program will use electronic, social and print media to promote Barbuda as an exclusive and upmarket international holiday destination.

Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, ABTA officials acknowledged that Barbuda, an island of 1,500 people and a total of 73 rooms available for guests, is only equipped to accommodate a limited number of visitors.

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The campaign message positions Barbuda as an “off the beaten track island escape”, with “one ferry, two flights and 10 taxis”. The destination has no major airport and is only accessible by “boat, helicopter or a small eight-seater plane”, and travelers are advised to visit, “But please, not times”.

The campaign uses on-site video and photography from local designer Mohammid Walbrook and UK-based creative agency Motel. The campaign messages will appear in media including Condé Nast Traveler and TripAdvisor in the UK and North America from March 21.

“We have spent many years marketing Barbuda as part of the overall Antigua and Barbuda offering,” said Colin James, CEO of ABTA. “Barbuda is a special place in its own right and has a growing number of unique things to offer.”

The campaign “helps manage expectations smartly because if interested travelers can’t book a flight or a room, they’ll understand exactly why,” said Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda.

“We hope this idyllic countryside truly captures the uniqueness and warmth of the local community of Barbudan and is in line with our strategy to show the world the unparalleled beauty of the sister island,” Fernandez said.

ABTA officials describe Barbuda’s history in recent years as “a period of rebuilding” after the widespread devastation the island suffered in 2017 from Hurricane Irma.

Previously popular restaurants including Uncle Roddy’s Beach Bar and Grill have reopened, officials said, while the luxury Barbuda Ocean Club resort is “nearing completion”. A Nobu restaurant currently operates on Princess Diana Beach and the Barbuda Belle “eco-hotel” is also located on the island.

William L. Hart