An official of the Montserrat Tourist Board (MTB) is hoping that the rebranding of the emerald isle visitor experience will attract more business and vacationers to the country.
“Come, we have time for you in Montserrat”, is the new slogan for the island which located off the coast of Antigua.
Speaking at the World Travel Market in the UK, the MTB’s Development Officer, Rosetta West, said the new theme seeks to funnel more visitors into the country which known for its active volcano.
“Montserratians are a very fun, laid-back people who also seem to make things happen for our visitors. In other words, if you come to Montserrat you can rest assured it will be a rewarding one because if you are lost we will take the time to give you a ride and take you where you need to go. It is very relaxing, we do make time for people,” she added.
West said the dark shadow cast on the island because of the volcano’s eruption about 20 years ago has now become part of the country’s tourism marketing strategy.
“It’s now a positive for us because as soon as you say Montserrat people will say ‘yes we know of the volcano,’ and it gives us and opportunity to say there is more. We actually have tours into Plymouth that was destroyed –we have certified tour guides and persons are given the opportunity to walk on areas in Plymouth that [are] 30 feet under ash and pyroclastic flow,” she said.
Additionally, West noted that the resumption of the ferry service between Antigua and Montserrat is expected to see an increase in visitor arrivals.
International travellers are funneled through Antigua and the absence of a ferry has limited travel to the neighbouring island.
West, while speaking to Johnson Johnrose of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) at the travel market, said Montserrat has just finalised a 10-year tourism plan.
“It is showing that we are going to be improving our products and be working on further standards. Right now we have our hiking alongside volcano viewing, we
have hiking and diving, AVT tours, and alongside that we have our festivals – the calabash festival in July,” she said.