Exploring megayacht tourism in Anguilla

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Plans for Sandy Ground, a narrow peninsula with a seafront beach, propose to transform a salt flat into a megayacht marina.

by Gregory Weykamp
Anguilla, the northernmost of the Leeward Islands along the eastern edge of the Caribbean, is a beautiful island nation of just 15,000 residents. Known for its quiet and peaceful beaches, friendly locals, and a distinct lack of American style franchise chains that clutter so many other Caribbean islands, Anguilla has made a conscious effort to focus its efforts on protecting the authentic character of the island by concentrating on serving a smaller number of tourists, but at a much higher level of service. Rather than compete for the mass market cruise ship industry, which could easily overwhelm the natural resources and culture of the island, Anguilla has set its sights on providing a new destination for the hundreds of super and mega yachts that cruise the Caribbean. 

Located just 12.8km (8mi) north of Saint Martin, Anguilla is a very desirable alternative to the more crowded beaches and cruise ports for those looking for a different experience. While large yachts regularly visit the waters around Anguilla, there are currently no dedicated facilities for berthing private yachts of any size anywhere on the island. Visiting yachts must anchor offshore or utilise one of the very few mooring fields and use their tenders to visit the island or provision the yacht. 

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