Anguilla’s Minister of Tourism Talks Business
Lloyd’s Guest House — Anguilla’s first official hotel — launched in 1959 and is still in existence today.
With Lloyd’s, a new brand of tourism was born: Anguilla offers a low volume, high-quality destination with pristine beaches, great food and people and excellent accommodations.
“Our people set us apart,” beams Anguilla’s Minister of Tourism Haydn Hughes. “And our training and ability to bring that discriminating, well-traveled visitor to our shores time and again is unique in this highly competitive world. “
Anguillans are unique: “We are a special people,” Hughes says. “We came here as slaves and we are the one island people who went from slaves to landowners and we have a sense of pride that we own 95 percent of the land, so we welcome all to our shores without feeling threatened or less than anyone else.”
Here, Haydn Hughes speaks to rolling out about the business end of operating a pleasure island destination like no other.
What do you find rewarding about your post as the Minister of Tourism?
As a member of Parliament and a person tasked with Anguilla’s tourism, the best part of being in this position is that I get to shape policy. I get a chance to introduce legislative instructions that will positively impact our product; shape what the country does relative to tourism; and I make decisions on promotions and marketing, working directly with hoteliers and other industry partners to promote and enhance the island.
What industries should consider moving their headquarters to Anguilla?
E-commerce, Google, Facebook, Twitter and many other industries should move their headquarters to Anguilla because we have smart, quick learners, an educated populace and a country that has no corporate taxes, no income taxes, no capital gain taxes, no sales tax, no withholding taxes and no taxes on interest earned on savings.
What is your vision for Anguilla, 10 years from now?
Anguilla is known as the “best kept secret.” That is something I want to change. I want Anguilla to be known in every corner of the Earth. My vision for Anguilla over the next 10 years is to have a Marina; commercially viable airport that can take Transatlantic flights directly from Miami, New York and even London or Paris; and to have an average yearly occupancy of 75 percent.
Do you have properties that can host a small convention?
La Vue, Cuisinart, Viceroy and Royal Caribbean.
How has Anguilla weathered the economic storms?
Like all countries, Anguilla has struggled during the economic storm. We are totally dependent on Foreign Direct Investment, which includes tourists coming to our shores. Since 2010, we have climbed a bit out of the hole but we are still trying our best to maneuver through the rough seas. We are a resilient people and we believe that we will be fine. We just need to continue pressing on.
… Once we get you to visit once, the experience will have you returning for more over and over again. We exceed expectations.
For more info about Anguilla, visit www.ivisitanguilla.com.