The year 2020 has welcomed massive shifts in the way we do business. The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken every sector of society, especially travel and tourism. H.E. Dr. Dario Item, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador, recognises that his beloved country was greatly affected by the global pandemic. This is mainly because the majestic Caribbean Island is currently heavily reliant on its tourism industry.
Ambassador Dario Item shared some of the great measures and ongoing initiatives the government has introduced in its efforts to put the country back on track. At the same time, he has been proactive with the ongoing emergency COVID-19 fundraising efforts as the country needs help to boost its economy again.
In order to bounce back from the COVID-induced slope, Antigua and Barbuda is showing the world why it’s not only one of the leading tourist destinations in the Carribean, but also fast becoming one a crucial investment hub in the region.
The Ambassador to Spain, Monaco, and Liechtenstein, Dr. Item, lauds the government’s effort to re-introduce the country, not only as a tourist destination but as an investment target as well.
Programmes to reboot the economy
The country’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) is one of the most known programmes in the region. Now, paired with its Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) programme, these initiatives make the country poised to supplement the tourist-friendly terrain and people of Antigua and Barbuda.
As the tiny yet beautiful nation re-opened its borders in June, the momentum of fresh new tourists, investors, and entrepreneurs (particularly those who are location independent, or commonly known as ‘digital nomads’), have picked up.
Why UHNWI investors are choosing Antigua & Barbuda
The growing interest from both investors and entrepreneurs did not come as a surprise. With its innate beauty, Antigua and Barbuda is home to an astounding 365 beaches scattered along 95 miles of coastline. The year-long splendid weather amplifies the attractiveness of the Caribbean paradise and has been attracting ultra-high-net-worth-individuals since they started the programmes.
The country’s tourism and hospitality industry have been streamlined to accommodate the growing demand, especially of those who can’t wait to revisit its pristine beaches. There is also a vast array of both local and foreign cuisines available through its 5-star restaurants. These amenities have been certified by the government, and ready to welcome both new and returning tourists.
Citizenship, residency and investment options
The tourism department has also launched an information program to ensure that all the necessary health and safety protocols are in place and implemented for the safety of both its residents and visitors.
Tourists, investors, and entrepreneurs visiting, or look to establish their businesses in the country, may still expect to receive the usual warm welcome, with a little twist as they can now be greeted “with a smile even from behind a mask”.
As if the paradise-like setting were not enough to encourage new visitors to Antigua and Barbuda, the government decided to bring an enjoyable meaning to working from home. The Nomad Digital Residency allows a two-year, visa-free stay in the island.
This is a very suitable condition for those people who work from home and still wish to be close to nature. Antigua and Barbuda boasts of a very reliable and state-of-the-art connectivity infrastructure that allows seamless data transmission and reception. This makes it even more comfortable for people who would like to work or run their company from a splendid and comfortable satellite workplace.
Antigua & Barbuda is also known for its safe location, great quality of life, as well as excellent travel links. It is one of the most secure and safest countries in the Caribbean. It also compares very well worldwide for its low crime rates and the rule of law. The country also has little or no exposure to large-scale security concerns, such as terrorism, cybercrime, and money laundering.
Meanwhile, many entrepreneurs and investors have been taking notice of Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program. Depending on how an applicant wishes to earn citizenship, he or she may invest in the National Development Fund (minimum of $100,000), real estate ($400,000), commercial operations ($1.5 million in an approved business), or the University of West Indies Fund ($150,000 requirement).
These programs are tailored to revitalise the tourism sector as well as other economic activities of Antigua and Barbuda. Dr. Dario Item’s enthusiasm has been very evident and his office continues to reach out to his areas of representation to encourage more potential visitors and investors to the Caribbean paradise.