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Anguilla (UK)

Population: 10,900.
Land area: 91 sq km.
Tourist arrivals by air: 43,181 (+15.2% on prev. yr.)
Tourist arrivals by cruise ship: None.
Total Tourist Expenditures: $57.2 million USD.
Tourism Budget: $697,000 USD.
GDP at factor cost: $71.1 million USD.
Whale-watching ports (current or potential): Limited information.
Land-based viewing sites: Limited information.
Whale-watching potential: Minimal.


Anguilla is only 35 square miles (91 sq km) and is relatively flat and low-lying (highest point, Crocus Hill, is only 213 feet high (65 m). A British dependent territory, Anguilla is the most northerly of the Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean. Although located only 5 miles (8 kms) north of St.-Martin, Anguilla could not be much more different from St.-Martin's bustling shopping centres. Anguilla's beautiful beaches and new hotels are popular with the well-to-do travellers who like things quiet and more laid back. In the early 1980s, Anguilla had almost no visitor facilities but a decision was made to develop tourism especially luxury hotels and villas. There are also some small and locally owned guest houses. Diving dates from the late 1980s and is oriented toward diving on wrecks, seven of which have been sunk as artificial reefs in the past decade. Recently, a marine parks system has been established in part to help manage the diving tourism and keep the marine waters relatively pristine.


Between February and April, but especially in March, some humpback whales navigate the narrow strait between Windward Point, just past the fishing village of Island Harbour, and the uninhabited Scrub Island. Humpbacks are also reported off the northwest coast on the other side of the reef beyond Sandy Island. At present whale watching is not considered a potential industry due to the sporadic nature of the sightings. No dolphin or other cetacean surveys have been done. In any case, the tourism base exists to support whale watch tourism perhaps most sensibly to be considered as part of marine nature tourism. The coat of arms of Anguilla is worth noting as cetaceans feature prominently: three orange dolphins on a white background arranged in a circular design with blue wavy water below it. The coat of arms is also on the blue flag of Anguilla, along with a representation of the British flag.

Acknowledgments: Anguilla Department of Tourism, Alyson Jones (Government House,

Anguilla), Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF, UK), CTO 1997.

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