Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 02, 2015 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Tourism has recognized the need to increase marketing aimed at targeting stay over visitors because stay over visitors offer more income benefits in the Federation when compared to cruise ship visitors, says Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsey F.P. Grant, in an address to officially open Tourism Month which is celebrated in November.
Minister Grant said that “the opening of Kittitian Hill at Belle Mont Farm, continued work on the Park Hyatt Hotel at Banana Bay, construction of the Koi Resort and Residences and other real estate projects point to the need for us to intensify our marketing and grow our stay-over arrivals. That is where the money is, and we are working steadfastly with our tourism partners to grow this segment.”
He revealed that his ministry is committed to diversifying the tourism product offered by St. Kitts and Nevis and highlighted his recent visits to Canada and England where he signed agreements with golfing associations. These agreements, according to Minister Grant, will facilitate further promotion of St. Kitts’ sports tourism product as well as establish St. Kitts as a premier golfing destination.
“In August 2015, St. Kitts signed an agreement with the Golf Association of Ontario which will see St. Kitts hosting a 2-ball shoot out from December 5 to 12, 2015, at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. Similarly, on September 29, I signed a three-year partnership between St. Kitts and Barmy Army Golf in England to raise the profile of our destination in the UK golf market,” Mr Grant said.
“This will entail the hosting of annual St. Kitts and Barmy Army exclusive golf events, the inaugural being launched in November, 2016. These new partnerships further complement the St. Kitts and Nevis Admiral’s Cup Pro-am Golf Tournament now in its sixth year,” the tourism minister said.
Minister Grant is of the view that the tourism sector offers many opportunities for nationals to make a living, hence, his ministry has embarked on a number of training initiatives geared at maximizing the overall experience of each tourist and providing service providers with the necessary knowledge needed to provide the best services possible.
He also said that “as part of efforts to build capacity and empower our people during the period September to November, we have been conducting taxi training seminars for taxi operators to lift the quality of service and enhance the overall visitor experience. However, training will not be limited to the transportation sector as we shall extend it to shops, vendors and to employees in the industry.”
He underscored the importance of such courses, noting that St. Kitts will welcome the millionth cruise ship passenger during the 2015-2016 cruise season. According to Minister Grant, these significant milestones provide for even more opportunities for nationals.
Urging citizens to take full advantage of the opportunities, Mr Grant said, “We therefore are encouraging prospective entrepreneurs to devise creative and workable ideas for new attractions so that our guests can be fully engaged.”