The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) has announced an increase of 13% in U.S. visitor arrivals to the island over the period March 2004 through March 2005. Arrivals increased from 65,154 in 2004 to 73,637 in 2005.The announcement was made at a special anniversary dinner for The Honourable Victor Franklin Banks, Anguilla’s new Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Investments and Tourism, co-hosted by Mr. Joseph Delfino, Mayor of White Plains.
Special guests included Andrew Spano, County Executive of Westchester; Ernest Davis, Mayor of Mount Vernon; Judge Sam Walker, Actg. State Supreme Court Judge and Reginald Lafayette, Commissioner.
Mayor Delfino congratulated the ATB on its highly successful first year of operation. “We are delighted in the ATB’s confidence that Westchester County was the ideal location to establish their first and only US national tourist office,” he said.
“We hope that other islands may follow suit, given the solid business infrastructure, the affluent Westchester and neighboring Fairfield County towns, access to the northeast quadrant and proximity to New York City that White Plains offers.”
The ATB attributed the increase to the opening of their first national tourist office in the U.S. in June 2004, the appointment of Marie Walker as the regional director responsible for the U.S., and an innovative brand marketing campaign built around the concept of “The Anguilla Experience.”
Audiences were introduced to The Anguilla Experience through a special partnership with The Early Show on CBS-TV, and communications efforts to support the campaign were aimed at consumers and the travel trade alike.
Highlights of the past year included a destination wedding on The Today Show, NBC-TV, features in several major consumer travel and lifestyle magazines, and a two-page spread in the Sunday travel section of the New York Times.
At the same time, the ATB pursued relationships with a carefully targeted travel agent audience, an initiative that began with the “Alluring Anguilla Travel Agent Promotion.”
“There was a significant increase in our marketing efforts in the U.S. and it has definitely paid off, ” stated Minister Banks.
“We have raised significantly the profile of our destination among consumers, and also created a variety of new tools to help our trade partners sell the destination, such as our new 24-page destination brochure and a 6-minute promotional DVD”.