|Basseterre, St. Kitts (01 March 2023) – With the growing competitive environment of the tourism industry today and a radical change in tourist demands, St. Kitts continues to perpetuate a strong marketing plan to boost travel and its global visibility. February unveiled remarkable opportunities for the destination with increased airlift, promotional ventures at international travel trade shows, the facilitation of notable media press trips, and the continuous uptake of cruise activity.|
|Exciting new travel opportunities have been implemented within the Caribbean diaspora regarding flights to St. Kitts. The St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA) recently announced interCaribbean Airways (ICA) integration into the destination’s current airlift roster, which takes effect on March 12 2023.The SKB to Barbados (BGI) flight will fly three times a week, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.The BGI service offers one-stop connecting flights to Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Marsha T. Henderson, shared her enthusiasm for the anticipated return of regional travel. “interCaribbean airways brings increased regional capacity for the destination which will significantly increase the rest of the region’s access to the Federation. This is indeed critical to our rebuilding efforts as the Caribbean was our second largest source market prior to the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to stay committed to advancing airlift to the island.”|
|Connectivity to the destination via sea was also of focus on the February agenda for the SKTA. Recently, tourism and transport Officials of St. Eustatius (Statia) and St. Kitts met to discuss the strengthening of partnerships to ignite intra-regional travel between the islands. As per the recent expansion of Makana Ferry Service, both parties recognized the power of economic and social linkages between the islands, and look forward to realizing the fruits of this development.|
|Further to recent intra-regional discussions, the Authority continues to expand its reach to multiple markets. The SKTA and Nevis Tourism Authority attended BIT Milan during the period 12th to 14th February 2023. While in Milan the team met with tour operators and media with the aim of building brand awareness.|
|In addition, the Authority maintains on-going marketing efforts within its source markets. Representatives from the Authority continue to promote the destination across mainland USA which include Washington DC and Denver. The team worked collectively to ignite travel appeal for the destination through one-on-one conversations with potential travelers.|
“Travel trade shows are multifaceted mediums that bring forth incredible marketing benefits. Destinations can have direct selling and networking opportunities with potential travelers and future partners. The Authority recognizes the importance of these trade shows and continues to invest in securing St. Kitts’ global prominence,” shared Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
|To bolster its public relations, the Authority recently hosted culinary and travel journalists Johnathan and Marina Ray, based in the UK, for a diverse experience of St. Kitts’ unique tourism offerings. The Authority capitalized on the opportunity to garner coverage by notable UK publications which include:Spectator Life – The print circulation is 78,323, and the website has 2 million monthly unique users.The Daily Mail – The circulation of the print newspaper is 800,000, and the Mail Online website is the world’s second most-read news site, with 350,000,000 unique visits as of January 2023.The Buyer – Its weekly email has 4,800 subscribers, and its website the-buyer.net attracts 96,000 individual visitors each month.|
|The cruise sector continues to have a critical socio-economic stewardship role in St. Kitts’ tourism industry. The destination has seen a total cruise pax of 144,952 in February and continues to see triple, quadruple, and quintuple cruise days. Notably, the destination saw the return of the largest cruise vessel in the world, “Wonder of The Seas,” since its inaugural cruise call. The consistency of booming cruise activity for the destination secures economic benefits for tourism stakeholders.|
|As the destination continues its rebuilding efforts, the SKTA continues to infuse innovation and creativity to refresh the brand and increase competitiveness. Deputy CEO, Melnecia Marshall, recently concluded a robust “Tourism Marketing for the New Normal” program in Tokyo, Japan which focused on benchmarking key post COVID -19 strategies and building human capacity.|
“The pandemic taught us many lessons and as we evolve we are met with visitors who are seeking more enriching experiences. During my stint in Japan it was clear that as we rebuild we must refresh our product by adding enriching elements, incorporate resiliency and identify strategies for encouraging business continuity.” stated Melnecia Marshall, Deputy CEO at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
Tourism is intersectoral, making it imperative that St. Kitts continues championing its existing marketing and promotional strategy to remain competitive, visible, and exclusive.