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Business and pleasure

Business mixes nicely with relaxation in Montserrat, this is observed from the time you enter the island and feel the island breeze or encounter the warmth of some of the most hospitable people on earth. A short flight from V.C. Bird International Airport or a ferry ride from Deep Water Harbour in Antigua will bring you to this gem.

The island is known fondly as the Emerald Isle due to its rolling hills, verdure and the fact that it has ties with Ireland, in the form of place names, surnames and similarities in culture. It is the only island outside of Ireland where St. Patrick’s Day is a public holiday. A weeklong celebration highlighting Montserrat’s local culture and Irish heritage culminates with St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, also a commemoration of the planned slave uprising on that very day in 1768. The activities range from freedom hike, freedom run, exhibitions, lectures, church service, Dinner, Pub Crawl and on St. Patrick’s Day itself a traditional “Slave Feast” which is housed in a recreated slave village. This is a truly festive atmosphere with traditional foods, local entertainment and the wearing of green and white. Alongside this event are many other activities that take place throughout the year such as the Calabash Festival in July, Cudjoe Head Day Celebrations in July/August, Literary Festival in October/November, Volcano Half Marathon in November and the Year End Festival in December.

Montserrat’s landscape lends itself to amazing hiking trails, with the added attraction of bird watching and volcano viewing. This is coupled with a number of good dive sites around the island.

A visit to the island today will reveal a new beginning following the disruptions caused by the volcano, including the destruction of Plymouth the capital. Commerce is now centred around Brades in the northern part of the island. Businesses and homes are being built almost none stop. The road network is being improved which include ghaut replacements, underground cable ducting, pedestrian walkway extensions, and resurfacing of main roads. A concept for a new town which includes Port Facilities at Carrs Bay, construction of a hotel and a business/residential centre around Little Bay is being finalised with the final design for the town to be completed early next year.

Montserrat is a British Overseas Territory with its own Government, headed by a Premier who is officially appointed by the Governor, Her Majesty’s representative. The Government of Montserrat welcomes new foreign investment and provides generous incentives for economic development. The island is positioned well for economic development with a stable Government, good communications, development potential and the fact that the currency is tied to the US dollar.

Montserrat has a good mix of accommodations to suit all tastes and budget. There is a selection of well-appointed villas to choose from with swimming pools, and all with stunning views. There is also a hotel and a number of apartments, bed and breakfasts and guest houses available for rental.

For additional information on Montserrat go to: www.visitmontserrat.com

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