The Tourism Authority continues to experience tourism success due to sought-after special events and holidays over the summer months
Basseterre (12 August, 2022) – Summer in St. Kitts combines compelling travel experiences, exciting events, and exceptional hospitality for all types of travelers and it has been a successful summer, to date. In June, St. Kitts received more than 9,000 passengers by air as well as more than 17,000 cruise ship passengers. The destination also successfully hosted its 24th annual Music Festival after a two-year hiatus, featuring international musicians and bringing more than 4,000 international visitors to the destination. The Music Festival contributed significantly to the local economy, bringing in an estimated $14 million dollars and creating more than 2,000 jobs.
The St. Kitts Music Festival was a summer hit featuring acts such as Destra Garcia, Ashanti, Byron Messia, Beres Hammond, and Sean Paul, just to name a few.
In addition to the successes amassed through Music Festival, the destination is proud to announce a new lodging option now available for booking: the luxury boutique hotel Sunset Reef St. Kitts is open and welcoming guests. Along with gorgeous Caribbean views and beautifully appointed suites, Sunset Reef utilizes sustainable practices throughout the resort, including a state-of-the-art geothermal system and eco-friendly sewage treatment plant. This property also encourages guests to leave footprints in the sand, not the environment, by providing environmentally friendly products and local cuisine.
“The opening of this new sustainable hotel comes at an opportune time as St. Kitts celebrates its fifth annual ‘Plastic Free July’. We are proud to expand our eco-tourism options in response to the increasing demand for more sustainable options from international travelers.” said Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
St. Kitts was encouraged to become more environmentally responsible during the summer, owing to several sustainable initiatives hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority during ‘Plastic Free July’. Sustainable Travel International (STI) recently partnered with the Ministry of Tourism to bring awareness to sustainable initiatives practiced in St. Kitts. STI demonstrated significant interest in documenting sustainability impact areas on the island, ranging from ongoing sustainable projects to local businesses and personal residents’ initiatives. This project was covered by Zinc Media who was assisted by local filmmaker Trucapo. Zinc Media is an established and award-winning television and content company primarily specializing in branded content and corporate films.
“I think St. Kitts is a fantastic place. The people we’ve met have so much passion for what they’re doing. They’re changing the way their island is now from what it was and what it could be. It really gives me hope for the future because if it can happen here, it can happen anywhere,” said Director of Photography at Zinc Media, David Crute as he spoke about the sustainable projects on the island.
Children in the rural area of St. Kitts also practiced sustainability this summer, having participated in the Ministry of Tourism’s yearly summer program—Green Tourism Camp, under the theme “Protecting our People, Plants, and Planet.” The week-long camp was held from 25-29 July and focused on green tourism and sustainability. Highlights of the camp included a fruit-picking opportunity at Armstrong farms and a recycling competition with the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The children impressively collected a total of 244.45lbs of recyclables.
“To ensure that we sustain a healthy and protected environment as a tourist destination, we need to expose our children to the harsh realities of pollution and the effects it can have on the environment and wildlife,” said Mrs. Carlene Morton, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism.
“Culinary tourism is also a focus this summer, especially during our annual St. Kitts-Nevis Restaurant Week which occurred 14-24 July,” added CEO Thompson. “This year’s Restaurant Week placed a spotlight on Kittitian and Nevisian farmers by incorporating sweet potatoes, a homegrown ingredient, into each menu. Local chefs showcased the ingredient alongside other flavours of our island in a variety of ways, for a truly distinctive array of dining offerings.”
“Restaurant Week is just one example of the types of immersive experiences that make St. Kitts an exceptional destination,” said Melnecia Marshall, Deputy CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “We are grateful to our local partners whose distinctive and attractive experiences appeal to potential travellers and drive international air and cruise visitation.”
July’s Restaurant Week included more than 50 participating restaurants, along with key events such as the St. Kitts Tasting Show, St. Christopher Children’s Home Fundraising Dinner at Serendipity and the Final Celebration at Park Hyatt St. Kitts. Additional events and special menus drew a successful turnout from both Kittitians and visitors who were able to experience the traditional cuisine and culture of St. Kitts.
Over the past two months, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority has actively hosted top-tier U.S. media to experience the destination, and has co-hosted a trip with Park Hyatt, in return for coverage. Media from Travel Noire and Thrillist were invited to attend the St. Kitts Music Festival, resulting in three articles to date. During Restaurant Week, the destination invited DeAnna Taylor, a freelancer to notable publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, Ebony and Fodor’s Travel, to taste her way through the culinary scene of the island. The Tourism Authority also hosted the critically acclaimed production team “The Points Guy” for their new adventure video series, which will highlight key locations that can offer potential travellers top-quality destination experiences.
The St. Kitts Tourism Authority is determined to produce results through increased travel to the destination with the partnership of all stakeholders. One critical element of this strategy was the implementation of quarterly meetings with various stakeholders to collectively align goals and objectives. In early July, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism met with stakeholders (hoteliers and destination management companies) to discuss upcoming promotional strategies, product development opportunities, hurricane preparedness plans, airlift changes, and advancement opportunities for local students.
During the session, SKTA announced the upcoming launch of a new brand campaign in September, created to further drive international tourism to St. Kitts. The new campaign is part of a rigorous effort to expand and improve marketing and promotional strategies in key source markets. The content will spotlight the distinctive qualities that differentiate St. Kitts apart from other islands, while simultaneously emphasizing the meaningful expansion of engaging experiences available for travelers.
CEO Thompson delivered an industry update, shared the tourism outlook for the remainder of the year, and facilitated dialogue with stakeholders. “Meeting with our key partners to ideate and identify opportunities for St. Kitts to stand out in the tourism space is paramount, and we’ve had productive conversations around future tourism developments,” said CEO Thompson. “The feedback from our stakeholders on our destination marketing and promotional strategy is especially beneficial as we finalize plans to significantly increase our presence in our source markets.”
Stay up to date on upcoming events in St. Kitts and save the dates for the 2023 Music Festival, scheduled 22-24 June, and Restaurant Week that will be held July 2023!
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