Missed This Year’s CDE Antigua Trip? Here’s What Went Down
By DeAnna Taylor
Just 5 years ago, traveler and entrepreneur Collin Devon set out to bring more exposure and to drive more income to the tourism industry of Antigua. With Antiguan roots himself, he wanted more Black travelers to experience the beauty of the island.
This year marked the 5th anniversary of the CDE Antigua experience and well, it was lit. From the moment travelers arrived to literally the moment they took off, Colin and his team ensured everyone received VIP treatment.
From October 24-29, 500 attendees experienced the trip of a lifetime, including influencers like King Combs and Bria Myles.
“The tourism authority set up a welcome cocktail for people when they arrived at the airport,” Colin Devon Creator of CDE Antigua told Travel Noire. “The party started as soon as people landed.”
Private shuttles, with the help of special police escorts, whisked travelers to their accommodations at the island’s all-new Royalton Antigua hotel.
Once everyone was checked-in and settled, it was time to turn up. Things kicked off with a welcome party where the theme was Polo classic. The next morning, everyone was up to attend a Soca and sweat class followed by brunch and an all-white party on the beach.
After a short nap, attendees were up and back on shuttles at 2 am for a special Jouvert party created just for this event. The 500 attendees along with 200 locals partied at Fort James from sunrise to sunset in true Caribbean style. Attendees told Collin, it was definitely one of the highlights of the experience.
The next few days bought more parties on the beach including time at the Dadlie Day Fete which is held annually on the island.
“All in all it was a great trip,” Collin said.
Each year there is a service component included in the itinerary. This year attendees were scheduled to help with a massive beach clean up but were met with nearly spotless beaches and nothing to clean. So, Collin decided to turn it into a fundraiser for the local schools on the island. Attendees were asked to donate only $10 each toward the efforts and supplies will be presented to the schools at a later date.
With all of the attention on CDE over the 5 days, it was no surprise that the Prime Minister caught wind of what was going on too. He personally called up Collin for a meeting to discuss how they could continue the event on the island.
“The Prime Minister is proud of the event. We discussed ways to create more generational wealth in Antigua through strategic partnerships.”
The goal is to bring more Black travelers and dollars to the island. Collin hopes to expand the experience with multiple offerings and on multiple islands. As of now, Barbados is being considered as a second destination.
With most young, Black entrepreneurs in the travel space, Collin is still hoping to gain respect in the industry from the proven success of his events. He hopped to completely buy out the resort that most attendees utilized during the event, but sadly the resort didn’t think he could truly bring in the numbers. This caused travelers not associated with the event to complain via travel review sites and to the resort itself.
Of course, he proved them wrong with another successful experience and hopes that next year he will be able to check this hurdle off the list.
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.