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Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority appoints overseas team

Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Economic Development Investment and Energy, the Honorable Asot Michael has announced the appointment of tourism executives, Marie Walker and Jean-Marc Flambert as Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s (ABTA) Vice Presidents with responsibility for Sales and Marketing for the twin islands tourism portfolio. Mrs. Walker is responsible for the United States and Canada and Mr. Flambert has responsibility for the United Kingdom and Europe.

In making the announcement the Minister described Walker and Flambert as expert strategists with successful track records of overseeing and directing high-impact tourism marketing campaigns for destinations.

With over twenty five years of tourism marketing experience, Walker most recently served as the Director of North America for the Anguilla Tourist Board, successfully opening the island’s first overseas tourism office. Prior to that she worked for the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in the capacity of the JTB’s Advertising Relations Manager for North America. Walker is also the principal of TurnStyle Marketing Collections, a boutique tourism agency that promotes luxury resorts and villas.

Walker is the recipient of several awards including the Anguilla Progressive Association of New York Diaspora Award; New York Certificate of Recognition for significant contributions to the Great City of Mount Vernon; St. Jago Past Students Association, USA Community Service Award for work with the Jamaican diaspora; Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Jerry Award for work in the travel industry to promote the Caribbean; the Consul General of Jamaica, Point of Light Award for outstanding service to the Jamaican community; the Jamaica Tourist Board Award for exemplary service; the American Marketing Association Silver Effie for Advertising Effectiveness and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) award for contribution to their regional conference.

A member of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, (CTO); NY Association of Travel Marketing Executives and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Walker has served as Chair of the University of the West Indies Capital Fund Auction; Chair of the CTO annual Caribbean Week events and participated on the Audrey Palmer Hawks Foundation and is an Advisor for the Graduate Program at Monroe College in New York.

Walker graduated magna cum laude from Iona College with a BSc in advertising and has a certificate in Marketing and Public Relations from New York University. She is married to the Hon. Sam D. Walker, New York State Supreme Court judge.

Mr. Flambert studied hospitality, completed the CIM Diploma in Marketing (UK) and has an MBA. He is a tourism professional with over 10 years’ experience working as a hotelier and Destination Management Company, (DMC) representing countries in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, namely Sri Lanka, Haiti and Saint Lucia.

Flambert has been credited with driving the growth of visitor arrivals to these islands whilst creating strong partnerships with tour operators, the media and hotels. His approach is based on working as a team of stake holders, and ensuring that all partners are moving in the same direction to achieve the synergistic effect that is expected. His mandate from the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is to further develop the strategy to grow the numbers and value of visitors from the United Kingdom and Europe to the twin islands.

In welcoming Walker and Flambert to the team the ABTA’s CEO, Colin James said, “We are confident that Marie and Jean Marc will leverage their industry expertise in overseeing the planning, development, and execution of our initiatives to promote and sell Antigua and Barbuda”.

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