The Honorable Minister of Tourism and Investment Charles ‘Max’ Fernandez, has announced the appointment of Mrs. Lorraine Headley-Raeburn as Chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) Board of Directors, while Mr. Dean Fenton has been appointed as the new US Director of Tourism. Headley-Raeburn will also serve as a consultant to the Tourism Authority. As Non-Executive Chairperson of the ABTA, Mrs. Headley-Raeburn will be responsible for overseeing the development of policies and strategies designed to strengthen Antigua and Barbuda’s reputation as a world-class tourism and travel destination and achieve continued growth in tourism arrivals.
In announcing the recent appointments Minister Fernandez said, “I am very excited that Lorraine Headley-Raeburn has agreed to join our Tourism leadership team and that we have appointed Dean Fenton as the US Director of Tourism. We have just celebrated another record-breaking year in Tourism arrivals, welcoming over one million visitors in 2018. With increased airlift, new properties set to open, and the opening of a 5th berth in St. John’s we are uniquely positioned for sustained growth. The appointments of these two talented and dedicated Antiguans are critical to our continued success. Mrs. Headley-Raeburn is the perfect person to have at the helm to maximise all opportunities to ensure our aggressive tourism goals are met; her advice and leadership will be invaluable.” The Minister continued, “The US is one of our most important markets, welcoming almost 100,000 overnight visitors per year. Our objective is to continue this momentum. We need the US Director of Tourism to have an extensive breadth of knowledge with the trade and consumer markets, and a deep contact list. Mr. Fenton will bring these important assets to the team with anticipated results of continued dynamic growth.”
Mrs. Headley-Raeburn thanked Minister Fernandez for his support and said that she is honored to become involved in helping Antigua and Barbuda achieve marked growth in tourism arrivals to the destination. Headley-Raeburn said, “I am pleased with the commitment and passion for success and growth from Minister Fernandez, the CEO, Colin C. James and the members of the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Authority. I am excited to begin working on these aggressive tourism goals that will positively impact not only the country and its stakeholders in the tourism industry, but also the lives of residents.”
Mrs. Headley-Raeburn has over 25 years of experience in tourism across the region, from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to the Ministry of Tourism. Highlights from her illustrious career include managing a large tourism development programme that was a joint public/private sector initiative on behalf of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association and the Ministry of Tourism. Headley-Raeburn held the position of Director General of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda for two years. She played a pivotal role in re-branding the destination, enhancing a series of local tourism promotion activities including Tourism Week and the Trading Places initiative, and increasing the international tourism profile of the country through a concerted programmme of global public relations and advertising campaigns. She also managed the tourism component of the requirements for the hosting of the Cricket World Cup in 2007, and contributed to the establishment of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. She has been an independent consultant for the past ten years and a founding Director of a beachfront boutique hotel on the South West coast of Antigua. Mrs. Headley-Raeburn has also been a Director of the Antigua Commercial Bank since 2012, serving as Chairman since October 2016. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators (ICSA) and having completed the Directors Education and Accreditation Programme (DEAP), she holds the designation of Acc. Dir. Mrs. Headley-Raeburn has a degree from Cambridge University and an MBA from the University of West Indies.
Mr. Dean Fenton expressed his excitement for his appointment saying, “I am honored to take on this new position for my home country, Antigua and Barbuda. We are on the precipice of seeing double-digit growth in tourism arrivals and cementing the country’s position as the greatest destination in the Caribbean. I am excited about the opportunities for the US team to play an integral role in the country’s success, and look forward to working together to ensure the US not only meets but exceeds expectations.” As the new US Director of Tourism, Fenton will be responsible for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority operations in the US. He brings with him over 15 years of marketing experience in the Caribbean tourism industry and has been working with Antigua and Barbuda since 2006. Prior to his new appointment, Mr. Fenton served as Senior Sales and Marketing Manager for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. During his tenure with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Mr. Fenton has secured over $750,000 in gratis advertising for Antigua and Barbuda in leading travel and consumer publications and increased group sales to Antigua and Barbuda by over 20%. He maintains solid relationships with travel promotional partners in the private sector, the travel industry, community and affinity groups and corporations for potential business opportunities to increase group sales, destination weddings and market share. Fenton’s specialties include marketing Antigua and Barbuda to the travel trade, media and consumers, as one of the Caribbean’s top wedding, honeymoon and romance destinations. Mr. Fenton is a graduate from Baruch College, CUNY and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing.