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Posted: Thursday 27 June, 2024 at 5:17 PM

High influx of tourists expected as Music Festival Kicks Off

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- With the St. Kitts Music Festival commencing this evening, Tourism Minister Marsha Henderson is optimistic about its broad impact on the tourism sector, particularly during the slow season with an expected influx of tourists.


    The festival, which features popular local, regional, and international performers, remains a cornerstone of the June calendar of events in the region, and this year is no exception.


    Speaking to SKNVibes Newson the side of the opening press conference, Minister Henderson confirmed increased flight bookings and a buzzing atmosphere since the lineup announcement.


    “So, for us, the Music Festival is an extremely important part of the tourism product,” she emphasized. “It is imperative that when we continue to grow the industry by increasing airlift to the destination, that we can get those seats filled, that we can get the occupancy rates up at the hotel, that we can increase the visibility of the destination and the Music Festival helps in that.”


    Over the years, the festival has significantly contributed to the local tourism landscape. The Ministry and its partners have actively engaged regional and international media to amplify exposure for the Federation and promote its offerings.


    Reflecting on its 26th year, Minister Henderson underscored the critical role it plays in the Ministry's 'Summer of Fun' activities.


    And so it's a vital tool for us in the industry.  Of course, it needs for us to go back to the drawing board to look at the sustainability of the festival, and what changes we need to make, if any, to make sure that it continues to grow for another 26 years.” 


    Highlighting its success, the Minister noted positive feedback from airlines and hotels, indicating increased arrivals to the Federation. Hotel occupancy rates are up, with flights consistently full, including additional services by JetBlue and American Airlines.


    "We do have two sets of flights from American Airlines, just for the festival, for Thursday, Wednesday to Sunday, we have additional flights, and even yesterday I was speaking to someone who came on the flight and they told me that that flight was full, that's the second flight. So there's a first flight and a second flight, so both flights were filled."


    Thursday night's lineup promises high-energy performances from soca artists, with Minister Henderson expressing confidence in the festival's ability to energize the local economy.


    "We are accomplishing what the festival was intended to, and hopefully it generates and circulates into the economy as well….I mean, just at the press conference this morning I felt the energy from all the artistes, including our local artists of course, who promise that they're going to bring the energy, bring the vibes. It promises to be a good show tonight, so we're encouraging patrons to come out in their numbers and support the festival,” she noted.


    The festival kicks off at 7:00 p.m.


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