Following the recent killing of the British honeymoon couple on the Caribbean island of Antigua many are now questioning how safe these idyllic paradise-like islands are for the millions of visitors who choose to holiday there each year. With many newspapers reporting on this horrific event it is no surprise that many subsequent articles have chosen not only to concentrate on the facts surrounding the case, but also to focus on the “perceived problem” of crime permeating not just Antigua but other islands throughout the Caribbean. But is this popular region of the world really as unsafe as recent media reports have indicated?
The simple answer is “no”. Of course the Caribbean is not a crime free destination. Like anywhere else in the world all the islands of the Caribbean experience varying degrees of mainly petty crime, such as theft. Whilst some of the larger islands such as Jamaica and Trinidad might also experience more serious and violent crime such as rape or murder, these crimes are nearly always perpetrated by locals against locals and hardly ever visitors, and these crimes are still relatively rare in comparison to many of the countries where tourists to these islands actually come from. This is why the recent murder of the honeymoon couple in Antigua made such major headlines, as it really was a rare and isolated incident. In fact the last tourist homicide on Antigua took place over ten years ago.
Nearly 97,000 tourists from the UK alone visited the island of Antigua in 2007 and most of these visitors will no doubt confirm that during their stay they experienced nothing but a warm climate, beautiful beaches and friendly hospitality from the majority of local people. The island has so much to offer visitors and is one of the Caribbean’s most popular tourist islands. For the last two years Antigua has also won awards as best wedding and honeymoon destination because of its appeal to couples looking for an exotic and beautiful destination for their wedding or honeymoon.
It is also a much cheaper holiday destination now due to the strength of the pound against the US dollar in comparison to the Euro. Many hotels and resorts also offer free weddings for couples staying for a specified minimum duration or for couples who wish to book additional rooms for their guests. One of the best destination for Caribbean holiday is The Inn at English Harbour.
Getting married on the island of Antigua could not be easier. Couples are able to get married on the same day they arrive on the island if they wish once they purchase a local licence from the correct Government office. All weddings conducted at local hotels, resorts or other not religious venues such as on one of the island’s 365 beautiful beaches, are civil ceremonies conducted by a marriage officer. Couples can also get married in one of the island’s many churches. Weddings conducted on Antigua, as well as all the other islands of the Caribbean are legally recognised in the UK.
Couples who had previously considered or even planned to visit the Caribbean and particularly the island of Antigua for an annual holiday or for their wedding or honeymoon should not be put off by recent events. Compared to many destinations in Europe, the Mediterranean and other parts of the world which are popular holiday spots for the Brits, the Caribbean is still a much safer destination. and Jolly Beach Resort is example of hotels which offer this.