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Anguilla tourism up by 19 pct

Anguilla has notched up a robust 2005 tourist season with an increase of visitor arrivals (tourists, business travelers, excursionists/day trippers from St. Maarten) for the twelve-month period
of January through December 2005 showing a 19% increase over the same period in 2004.  There were a total of 143,186 visitor arrivals for 2005, an increase of
22,398 persons over 2004.  Tourist arrivals (stay over visitors) increased by 15% during the same period with the island welcoming 62,084 tourists surpassing targeted arrivals of 58,874.

The U.S. remained the island’s largest market by far with 41,733 tourist arrivals in 2005 versus 35,751 for 2004, representing an increase of 16.7%. The island proved once again to be a preferred destination for tourists over the December 2005 holiday season with 7,099 selecting Anguilla as their holidaydestination resulting in a 17% increase over December 2004.

The U.S. represented 70% of those visitors with 4,960 tourist arrivals, an increase of 18% over the same period in 2004. Amelia Vanterpool Kubisch, Director of Tourism, attributed the record numbers and
high profile of the island to several factors including an improved Airport
Facility; increased marketing budget and a new brand marketing campaign around the concept of “the Anguilla Experience…Feeling is Believing.”

“We implemented several trade and consumer media, travel agent and tour operator initiatives that spoke to our target markets and proved to be very successful. Programs such as our Alluring Anguilla Travel Agent Experience and several special events—the Anguilla Sailing Regatta, Moonsplash Music Festival, Anguilla Summer Festival and the Tranquility Jazz Festival—- were enhanced with marketing support
and helped attract visitors and attention,” stated Director Vanterpool-Kubisch.

“We have high hopes for another great year in 2006 with the prestigious Temenos Anguilla, A St. Regis Retreat opening Anguilla’s first 18 hole championship golf course designed by Greg Norman in November, and some exciting new programs in development including our Travel Connoisseur campaign designed for the travel trade,” she concluded.