HOTEL

Hotels tasked with mitigating potential fallout from UK economic situation

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The Hawksbill Hotel on Antigua’s west coast is said to be a popular vacation spot for British visitors (Photo cour-tesy VisitAntiguaBarbuda.com)

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By Orville Williams

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Hotels in Antigua and Barbuda that could be affected by the current economic situation in the UK have been tasked with addressing any potential fallout, ahead of the upcoming winter tourism season.

While the local tourism sector is anticipating the ‘most normal’ season since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sliding value of the British pound could affect the plans hoteliers, vendors, taxi and tour operators are looking to put into action, starting in a few months.

The pound sterling hit a record low against the US dollar this week, following an announcement of several fiscal measures including tax reductions, investment incentives and financial support – aimed at avoiding a projected economic slowdown.

 Soon after that announcement, international currency traders started selling the pound in droves in favour of the stronger dollar, less than a month after new Prime Minister Liz Truss and the rest of her government took office.

Now, there are concerns that people in the UK – which is Antigua and Barbuda’s second-largest tourism source market – could be hesitant to spend money on vacations, concerns that do not bode well for the twin island nation.

Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Lionel Hurst, acknowledged those concerns during yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, and explained that the onus is on the hotels to ensure they continue to attract visitors during this turbulent time.

“We don’t know how long this decline of the pound’s value will last, no one knows it, but what we do know is that the second largest number of people who visit Antigua as tourists come from the UK.

“Therefore, we

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