Profile of Antigua & Barbuda
The country of Antigua and Barbuda is located in the centre of the collection of Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean. Antigua is the main island in the union and has a population of about 87,000 people. The capital city, St. John, has about 31,000 residents. Barbuda is a highly unspoilt and undeveloped island, located about 30 miles away. It has an even smaller population of 1,500, sometimes being outnumbered by tourists, which is the primary industry of the union. Antiguans will proudly tell you that despite their small size, 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, that their Caribbean island has 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. That is very impressive. And, they will even more proudly tell you that you can choose to swim at any one of them – even if the best and most expensive hotels are located on those same beaches!
Beach Laws Strictly Enforced
Why? Because both the Antiguan government, and more importantly, the Antiguan people, take the enforcement of their beach laws very seriously. The law states that all beaches belong to the people of Antigua. It also states that if hotels, or any commercial entity, purchases property to do business on the beaches, they are obligated to build walkways and provide the general public with access to the beach. It is against the law to prevent any Antiguan access to their beaches. That is even more very impressive.
Host of Attractions & Activities
Just like how you would be surprised that such a small country has 365 beaches, you are going to be amazed by how many attractions and activities exist for your entertainment in Antigua.
Antigua has something for everybody. You could go: watch a cricket match LIVE (Instead of the usual worldwide TV broadcast), play tennis or golf, biking, horseback riding, sea cruising, boating, windsurfing, diving, snorkeling, hiking, bird watching, fishing , kayaking, swimming with sting rays, on a helicopter ride, zip line canopy tours and sugar estate tours.
Uncovering Antigua’s Big Secret
I found out Antigua’s big secret – their guest list â€¦ If you are like some American fans, who absolutely adore their Hollywood actors and American celebrities, then you may not mind accidentally meeting a few of them, while you are sun tanning on those 365 beachesâ€¦ Is it possible? Absolutely! How come? It is because some very powerful international celebrities have residences in Antigua! The list is impressive!
Meeting Celebrity Guests – The Dream for Die Hard Television Fans
Imagine how you would feel if you met: Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group Chairman), Georgio Armani (Fashion Designer), Silvio Berlusconi (Media & Sports Mogul, Former Prime Minister of Italy), Timothy Dalton (former James Bond Actor), Eric Clapton (Musician/Singer), Ken Follet (Writer, Pillars of the Earth, Eye of the Needle) and Robin Leach (TV Host, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous). When I was last in Antigua, I was lucky enough to meet the celebrity Caribbean and Jamaican hotel billionaire mogul, The Honourable Gordon “Butch” Stewart, O.J. (Order of Jamaica). So, start packing, you never know who YOU may meet!
Meeting Celebrity Cricketers – The Dream For Die Hard Cricket Fans
If you are a cricket fan, then you would be thrilled if you met the following Caribbean cricketers who reside in Antigua: Sir Dr. Vivian Richards (Former West Indies Batsman & Captain, Medical Doctor, with Antigua’s cricket stadium named in his honour), Andy Roberts (Former WI Fast Bowler) Curtley Ambrose (Former Fast Bowler) and Richie Richardson (Former W.I. Captain).
Cricket – Booming Sports Tourism Industry
On my last business trip to Antigua, I decided to make reservations about 2 weeks before my departure date. Big mistake! Almost every room in Antigua was booked out and obviously the least expensive rooms were grabbed up first. Why? There was a Test Cricket in Antigua. So a host of Caribbean fans, from inside and outside the region, had swarmed into the island and booked out most of the hotels rooms for a whole week. The least expensive room I could find started at US$200 per nightâ€¦
Fine All- Inclusive & EP Hotels in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda have traditionally positioned itself in the marketplace, as a destination for a middle-class to upper-class clientele. The country has a wide array of hotels – both under the All-Inclusive and European plans. The Caribbean Resort Chain, headquartered in Jamaica, Sandals has a hotel in Antigua. As usual, it would be advisable for travellers to book early to get the best rates, particularly because there are limited rooms in this relatively small country.
Music – Influenced by Jamaica & Trinidad
Antiguans heartily enjoy their Caribbean music. The most popular genres of music there are Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Steel Drum and Zouk (a rhythmic type of music from the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe). Antiguan music is heavily influenced by music from Jamaica and Trinidad. Steel drums are particularly fascinating because they are hand made from the 55 gallon storage drums used to transport Trinidad’s most precious resource, oil. Steel Drum Orchestras produce the most fantastic music, of all genres.
It is sure to “just blow your mind!” This is a “must-see” activity – if you are interested in music and culture.
Internet Hosting & Gaming
Over the years, Antigua has become recognized as a centre for legalized online gambling.
Antigua was one of the first countries in the world to regulate, legalize and licence this very popular gaming activity – via the internet, while customers participated from the comfort of their homes. So you can expect to find internet gambling all over Antigua’s computers.
Politics – Stable Democracy
Antigua and Barbuda is a stable federal parliamentary democratic representative monarchy. That means the symbolic head of state is Queen Elizabeth in England. Her local representative in the countries appoints a Prime Minister after there are democratic elections of members of parliament. From 1951, Antigua’s politics was dominated by a father and son team as Prime Ministers, Vere and Lester Byrd. This is no longer the case.
Mount Obama & Hospitality
When the US President , Barack Obama, was inaugurated in November 2008, Antigua was the either the first, or one of the first countries in the world, to decide to name something in his honour. They announced it soon after the November inauguration, but waited until the President’s birthday, on August 4, 2009, to rename their highest mountain, Boggy Peak, Mount Obama. That was quite an honourable gesture. It was also smart tourism marketing. Which other celebrity is bigger than President Obama?
Clearly Antiguans know themselves. Clearly they know how to attract the most powerful celebrities in the world to come and build homes in their country â€¦. Clearly these most discriminating guests have found something special about Antiguans and Antiguaâ€¦ You need to come and discover it for yourself. So get ready to go beach hopping – but remember to bring enough swimwear to enjoy all of their 365 beaches â€¦.