(December 20, 2010)
Just in time for the 2011 Winter Season, travel from Italy to Antigua and Barbuda will begin with the introduction of new Italian charter Blue Panorama.
Blue Panorama will make its inaugural flight to Antigua on December 20. The airline will offer flights every Monday until May 2011.
The announcement was made by Hilary Modeste, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Director of Tourism for UK and Europe.
“The Italian market has always been a very buoyant market for Antigua and Barbuda bringing in over 6000 visitor arrivals annually”, said Modeste.
“The successful negotiation of this contract is great news for us. The Italian market is a very important market and we recognise the potential that exists to fully capture and develop it. Blue Panorama is giving us the opportunity to do just this in 2011.”
Discussions with Italian tour operator Press Tours began earlier in the year, amidst concerns that there would be no winter service to the destination from Italy with the liquidation of the Livingston Charter.
Meetings were subsequently held with the Ministry of Tourism, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, and representatives of Press Tours and Blue Panorama to discuss ways in which the destination, the tour operator and the airline could work together.
“Press Tours loves and knows in depth the beautiful islands of Antigua & Barbuda. We believe in its tourism potential, thanks to its terrific beaches, amazing nature, good quality of hotels, civil and tourism services and its people – who are rich in tradition, culture and who are friendly towards tourists”, said Press Tours Sales & Events Manager, Moreno Rognoni.
“In less than four years, Press Tours has become the leading tour operator to send Italians to Antigua. To date, the feedback from our clients has been more than positive. That’s the reason why Press Tours has decided to grant to Antigua a continuing charter flight for the entire winter. We are taking responsibility for ensuring the charter and giving more Italians the chance to journey to Antigua with a direct flight from Milan”, he said.
“We understand that this is an investment by the Italian tour operator, Press Tours. We are happy that the UK office was able to dialogue with the tour operator, providing them with the confidence to secure the seats on Blue Panorama to make the charter into Antigua possible. We are fully committed to ensuring the success of the charter for the upcoming season,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Honourable John Maginley.
The Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism ensured that the airline received the necessary landing rights ahead of the inaugural flight.
Numerous tourism officials will be present at the VC Bird International Airport to welcome the flight when it arrives on Monday.
The flight will be shared with La Romana in the Dominican Republic.