ACP boasts of milestone cruise-passenger arrivals in February; but MP Smith notes that St. Kitts has done better

As the Antigua Cruise Port (ACP) boasts about the number of cruise-
ship passengers that Antigua and Barbuda has welcomed in
February, MP Anthony Smith Jr. says this figure still lags behind the
accomplishments of the United Progressive Party (UPP) in its 10-
year tenure.
The ACP says it has welcomed over 80,000 cruise passengers this
month. This reportedly marks a milestone for the Port, with a total
of 83,389 passengers from 48 calls up to the middle of February.

By the end of February there would have been 78 calls and 141,000
passengers, the Cruise Port anticipates, highlighting Antigua and
Barbuda’s popularity for cruise vacations.
Earlier, ACP had boasted that the 2023 visitor arrivals via cruise
ships totaled just over 680,000.
However, MP Smith says that, back in 2007, under the stewardship
of former Tourism Minister Harold Lovell, annual cruise ship
arrivals exceeded this number.
Comparing the figures, then and now, the cruise tourism product
appears to be regressing, Smith states.

MP Smith, the United Progressive Party spokesperson on tourism,
points to St. Kitts & Nevis, a smaller destination, which has already
attained the million-person mark in its cruise-tourism sector.
This is because that country is able to accommodate the Oasis-class
vessels, which Antigua and Barbuda has been trying to do for a
number of years now by dredging the St. John’s Harbour.
The channel has to be made deeper and wider in order to
accommodate these mega ships, and the dredging exercise has been
going on for nearly 10 years now at the expense of taxpayers.
In Smith’s opinion, under a UPP Administration this country would
have reached the million-person mark in cruise tourism already.

MP Anthony Smith Jr., the United Progressive Party spokesperson
on tourism.