Victor Banks And Carol Johnson

Victor Banks With Mrs. Donna Banks And Caridgan Connor

New York, NY -- The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) presented the first Anguilla Ambassador Awards to three honorees who have made a significant contribution to the success of Anguilla as a premier vacation destination. The festivities took place at the Per Se Restaurant in New York -- like Anguilla, an esteemed culinary destination -- to celebrate the fact that Anguilla Is Back!

The Hon. Victor Banks, Chief Minister of Anguilla, presented the awards to Melanie Reffes, outstanding journalist from USA Today; Carlson Connor, Founder and president of the Anguilla Progressive Association of New York (APANY); and Maurice Bonham-Carter, President & CEO of the ID Travel Group, and owner of the Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla.

Carlson Connor With Melanie Reffes And Maurice Bonham-Carter

The Chief Minister updated the industry partners, media representatives and investors present on the new developments and priorities for Anguilla’s tourism industry, and assured them of the government’s commitment to restoring growth. “Our strategic approach to growing Anguilla’s tourism industry centers on developing and implementing three primary and interrelated policies -- investment in our infrastructure, to improve access to the island; investment in our plant and product, to expand current visitor options; and investment in technology, to provide new marketing platforms and foster entrepreneurship,“ he stated.

The Chief Minister closed on an optimistic note, expressing his appreciation for the affection and goodwill displayed towards Anguilla, and thanked all partners for their continued support and dedication. He noted that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Anguilla Revolution, the beginning of their challenging yet rewarding journey as a nation to self-determination, and invited everyone to come to Anguilla to join in the celebrations.

Several private sector stakeholders attended the reception, including Jeffery and Susan Goldstein, owners of Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa; Ian “Sugar George” Edwards, Managing Director of Sunset Homes; Neil and Wendy Freeman, owners of Beaches Edge East and West and Alegria Villas; Tom Montvel-Cohen, part owner of Ce Blue; Simone Connor and Ian Alexander, owners of Sandy Island.

The government delegation headed by the Chief Minister included The Hon. Cardigan Connor, Parliamentary Secretary with Responsibility for Tourism, Sports Youth & Culture; Mr. Merwyn Rogers, Permanent Secretary; and Mrs. Donna Banks, Chairperson, ATB.

ATB North America representatives Noel Mignott, Alison Ross and Jill Ackerman organized and attended the event.

For more information on Anguilla please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: and follow them on Facebook:; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla .

About the Honorees

One of USA Today’s most outstanding travel writers, Melanie Reffes is a prolific travel writer who has written a wide range of articles and social media postings about Anguilla that have greatly enhanced the island’s reputation.

Carlson Connor founded APANY 20 years ago with the vision of providing assistance for the educational, social, economic and cultural needs of Anguillians both at home and abroad. Under his leadership the organization has expanded over the years, providing college scholarships through their Heritage Fund and supporting the Arijah Children’s Foundation for children with special needs.

As President and CEO of ID Travel Group, Maurice Bonham-Carter’s tour operator, Island Destinations, is one of the highest producing companies for the island’s top hotels and resorts. He is also the owner of Arawak Beach Inn, and his relationship with Anguilla goes back over 17 years. 

About Anguilla

Tucked away in the northern Caribbean, Anguilla is a shy beauty with a warm smile. A slender length of coral and limestone fringed with green, the island is ringed with 33 beaches, considered by savvy travelers and top travel magazines, to be the most beautiful in the world.

Anguilla lies just off the beaten path, so it has retained a charming character and exclusivity. Yet because it can be conveniently reached from two major gateways: St Martin and Puerto Rico, and by private air, it’s a hop and a skip away.

Romance? Barefoot elegance? Unfussy chic? And untrammeled bliss?
Anguilla is the answer.