Antigua and Barbuda Industry
The road network covers around 120 km, of which one third are paved roads. There is no railroad.
In the capital St John’s there is a deep water port for cruise and merchant vessels. The old British naval port in Falmouth on the south side of the island of Antigua is one of the world’s largest ports for private boats.
Antigua and Barbuda have built up an international merchant fleet. In 2016, nearly 1,000 vessels sailed on favorable conditions under the Antiguan flag.
Antigua has an international airport equipped with a new terminal with Chinese assistance. The island of Barbuda has an airfield for domestic traffic. The largest airline in the eastern part of the Caribbean, LIAT Airlines, is based in Antigua.
Antigua and Barbuda are one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean for British charter tourists. Many Americans also vacation in the country. The main attraction is the many white sandy beaches, which are said to be 365.
There are also known sailing competitions and an annual carnival week. Nelson’s Dockyard in English Harbor on Antigua’s southern coast has been a national park since 1985 and in 2016 was included on the UN agency UNESCO World Heritage List.
The tourist facilities are often secluded and tourists’ contact with the country’s residents is limited.
From 2000 the tourist flow steadily increased and reached a peak in 2008 when 266,000 overnight tourists visited Antigua and Barbuda. Thereafter, visits declined for a few years as a result of the global economic downturn. During the 2010s the influx again increased and in 2016 the country was visited by almost 600,000 cruise travelers and over 265,000 overnight tourists.
Tourism is the country’s most important industry and main source of foreign currency. However, the fact that cruise passengers are increasing more than traditional tourists is a concern for the country. Although the cruise passengers are so many times more, they only contribute a small part of the tourists’ total expenses.
FACTS – TOURISM
Number of foreign visitors per year
265 000 (2016)
US $ 693,000,000 (2016)
The share of tourist income from exports
67.1 percent (2016)