Antigua takes the silver screen by storm

Tourist attractions in Antigua and Barbuda.
Tourist attractions in Antigua and Barbuda.
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

With Antigua and Barbuda tourism arrivals on the rise, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) has announced a major partnership with the world’s leading public service broadcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which will feature Antigua and Barbuda in the first full episode of the hit reality business documentary series “The Apprentice.”

Premiered in the United Kingdom on Jan. 5, 2023, the new season will have contestants compete to become the next business partner of Lord Alan Sugar, one of the UK’s foremost business magnates whilst competing on island in a series of tourism tasks.

“Airing on the BBC this month to tie into the peak holiday booking season, the show will ensure Antigua and Barbuda is front of mind for millions of British travelers tuning in when making their holiday decisions for the year ahead, and beyond,” ABTA said.

“There is a lot of excitement for Antigua and Barbuda amongst viewers of the show, who have spotted the teaser and recognized the destination,” said Minister of Tourism and Investment, Charles Fernandez. “Our welcoming people, warm weather, turquoise waters, fantastic cultural sites, amazing restaurants, and unique experiences are going to be splashed across television screens in homes throughout the UK,” he added.

“The highly anticipated first episode for the season is fully dedicated to Antigua and Barbuda,” Fernandez continued. “Most importantly, it is airing during a peak booking period which is ideal for us, as we aim to attract travelers thinking of escaping the cold. This is a huge promotion to start off the year and is the momentum that we will continue to build on as we promote Antigua and Barbuda throughout 2023.”

After 2.5 years of planning, ABTA said series 17 launched with 18 lucky British contestants, and Apprentice judges Karen Brady and Claude Littner, being whisked from the boardroom to the Antigua and Barbuda shores where their first challenge awaits them.

Staying at the Royalton Antigua, a total of 65 crew, talent and contributors spent four days on island shooting in April in 2022.

Split into two teams, Boys vs. Girls, ABTA said the contestants were tasked with promoting island tours and excursions, the winning team being whoever made the most profit.

It said the girls picked a sea excursion, a catamaran ride with Tropical Adventures that includes some luxury touches, while the boys chose a cultural, historic tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site Nelson’s Dockyard.

After learning from on-the-ground experts, as much as they could to act as guides, ABTA said the teams went about making deals with local partners and selling excursions to regular tourists.

The hour-long episode features many local businesses and locations, from Rum tasting at Shirley Heights with Quin Farara Wine & Spirits to Panache Steel Orchestra pan lessons within the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park, Antigua Yacht Club Marina, Dickenson Bay, Beachlimerz, Tropical Adventures Catamaran, Cedars Pottery and Heritage Quay.

“We are absolutely delighted to share the culmination of years of planning and hard work and would like to thank all our partners who worked together to make this partnership a reality,” said Cherrie Osborne, director of Tourism UK & Europe for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority said. “After two years of travel restrictions tourism has never been more important, and so inspiring travel to Antigua and Barbuda is not only a top priority for the Tourism Authority, but imperative to the islands’ successful growth and rebound.

“Antigua and Barbuda will star in one of the UK’s most popular TV shows and this exciting episode will be sure to inspire millions of British travelers to visit the destination for years to come,” she added.

On Monday, ABTA hosted a private screening at The Royalton.

The episode was available for watching from Jan. 5 on BBC iPlayer.

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