As residents and visitors explore new entertainment options in a vastly different landscape, the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda has proven to be an option worth exploring.
The Board of Directors and Management has used the time during the COVID-19 pandemic to fast track several initiatives and introduce others which have served the institution well since it reopened to the public.
Pointe Entertainment’s recently visited the museum on a trip which offered insight into the improvements that have allowed it to continue to serve the public during the pandemic. There were devices alongside many of the exhibits which offered visitors an enhanced digital experience in addition to fixed exhibits. This also eliminates the need for a guide to walk visitors through the tour.
The museum has also upgraded its website and offers research services to the public. The research services are not new, however, physical distancing protocols means that people are no longer allowed to come in to carry out their research, Rather, they are encouraged to email their requests to the museum where a member of the museum’s staff will complete and return the final research piece.
Digital Technologist, Mark Philip, introduced our reporter to the museum’s digital platforms and elaborated on the extensive work being carried out to digitize all the contents of the museum. He explained that the museum has embraced the digital age which has improved the quality of the exhibits and made the overall experience more user friendly.
Another innovation is the introduction of a survey to capture feedback from the visit as opposed to having visitors only sign the very popular guest book.
Michele Henry, the museum’s curator, said the survey has provided qualitative information which is being used to improve the museum’s level of service and diversify its historical displays.
Even though the museum has lost its major traffic, cruise passengers, there has been an uptick in the number of stayover guests to the country who now visit. Some have even returned for several visits. Visitors are also spending more time enjoying the exhibits.
The slavery exhibit remains the most popular attraction.
Some of the new products to be rolled out soon include a partnership with the Historical Society to develop hiking tours that showcase the archaeology and the history of hiking trails.
The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda is a treasure trove of our history.