Sheltered Paradise
Bloomberg Businessweek|January 24, 2022
With spectacular beaches, top-tier resorts, and a stellar Covid record, Anguilla is growing even more irresistible.
Nikki Ekstein

Anguilla, like an African safari camp or St. Barts with its dive-bomb approach via plane, is one of those places made more special by being difficult to reach. The rare Caribbean island without a cruise marina, it has a tiny airport that only last month started welcoming one major U.S. carrier—American Airlines, with a direct flight from Miami.

Unless you’re among the visitors with a private jet, arrival is typically by a small Caribbean airline that flies noisy charter planes or by a choppy 45-minute ferry ride from nearby St. Maarten.

“Anguilla has always had an issue with access,” says Kenroy Herbert, chairman of the Anguilla Tourist Board. “But we don’t want to open the floodgates, so to speak.” That’s a pretty unconventional thing for a tourism executive to say, particularly one in service of a 14,000-person island the size of Manhattan that claims virtually no industry beyond, well, tourism.

But Herbert has made that stance— which prioritizes a low-volume tourism strategy focusing on high-spending visitors—a selling point, especially during the pandemic. In August 2020, Anguilla reopened its borders with a unique “bubble” concept designed to insulate travelers and locals from transmission risk by requiring visitors to test aggressively before and after arrival in addition to remaining quarantined in villas for at least 10 days before being allowed to explore.

The bubble worked. From April to December 2020, Anguilla didn’t record a single case of Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization. For a certain traveler—both time- and cash rich yet also Covid-cautious—that made it irresistible. “Other Caribbean islands were calling to get details as to how we made it all work,” Herbert says. The rules have since been relaxed, but they remain strict compared with other countries.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

Bet On It

A Silicon Valley-backed startup wants to bring Wall Street-style trading to the outcome of events. Some regulators say that’s a terrible idea

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

You're Browsing All Wrong

A startup wants to discard the standard formula for the web browser

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Killer Heat Is Here

The record temperatures ravaging India are a warning of global catastrophes to come

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Opening the Spigot

Conservatives want to limit social media companies’ power to control content

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Expanding Access to Mind Expansion

Companies offer guided drug trips on jungle retreats, at city clinics, and in your living room

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Europe's Travel Rebound Wobbles

A staffing crisis at airlines, airports, and even the Chunnel left some operators overwhelmed

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Better-Odds Babies

Genetic testing companies promise they can predict an embryo’s probable future health. Some parents don’t want to stop there

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Are We Still Doing Scooters?

Lime says people are scooting more than ever, but providing urban transit is a hard way to make unicorn-level profits

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

"You Know What's Cool?"

Facebook has spent a decade successfully ripping off its newer, hotter rivals. But this time, it tried to copy TikTok and blew up Instagram instead

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)

Pivoting to Troll

Elon Musk’s incessant posting may do wonders for his ego and clout in right-wing circles, but it has destroyed value pretty much everywhere else

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
May 30 - June 06, 2022 (Double Issue)