Barbuda to tourists: Come visit, ‘but not all at once’: Travel Weekly

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Gay Nagle Myers

Barbuda, the smaller half of the twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, has taken an unusual approach to promoting its tourism product.

The 62-square-mile island launched its first tourism campaign by encouraging travelers to visit — “but not all at once.”

Barbuda, 25 miles north of Antigua, lies in the Leeward Islands between the Atlantic on the east and the Caribbean on the west. Even before Hurricane Irma in 2017 destroyed 95% of homes and businesses on Barbuda, forcing most of its 1,500 residents to evacuate to Antigua while repairs were underway, the island was virtually untouched by tourism.

The new campaign aims to position Barbuda as an off-the-beaten-track getaway. But given the limit on the number of visitors that can be accommodated at any one time, Barbuda is not pleading with travelers to visit.

A 15-second video features a long shot of a silhouette of a tiny passenger plane flying above Luis Beach. The copy reads that Barbuda has only “one ferry, two flights and 10 taxis.”  

“We’d love you to come, but please, not all at once.”

New campaign helps Barbuda ‘manage expectations’

Charles Fernandez, tourism minister of Antigua and Barbuda, endorsed the campaign’s creative approach to shine a spotlight on Barbuda in a measured way.

“This campaign cleverly helps manage expectations, because if interested travelers can’t book a flight or a room, they will understand exactly why,” Fernandez said.

“More than that, we hope that this campaign truly captures the uniqueness and warmth of the local Barbudian community and is in keeping with our strategy to show the world the unsurpassed beauty of our sister island,” Fernandez said.

Attractions and resorts on Barbuda

Barbuda’s best known for its pink sand 11-mile Luis Beach, the Frigate Bird Sanctuary that is home to more than 100,000 birds and the capital of Codrington.

The Barbuda Belle eco-resort has reopened, the development of the Barbuda Beach Club is nearing completion, plans are moving forward on actor Robert de Niro’s resort project on the site of the shuttered K Club, there is a Nobu restaurant on Princess Diana Beach and many homes and business properties have been rebuilt, according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

The campaign’s aerial shots, filmed by a drone, also feature closeups of the bird sanctuary, which can only be visited by boat with a tour guide.

Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, pointed out that “we have spent many years marketing Barbuda as part of the overall Antigua and Barbuda package. Barbuda is a special place in its own right.”

The campaign aims to shine a light on that special place, one visitor at a time.

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