BASSETERRE (17th September, 2016): As part of ongoing activities designed to grow its Canadian visitor market, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority held a series of activities in the greater Toronto area last week, including meetings, events and interviews with stakeholders, marketing partners, tour operators and travel agents.
These events included a consumer evening co-hosted by West of the City magazine, the Air Canada Vacations winter product launch meetings, a St. Kitts Golf Summit, an introduction to the new executive team at Air Canada and market planning for the upcoming winter peak travel season.
“Canada is one of our top source markets for visitors, therefore it is imperative that we increase awareness for St. Kitts as a world-class tourism destination,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry & Commerce. “The meetings and events we attended were all finely targeted to the audience we need to reach, which is the affluent, experiential traveller to whom our tourism product is well-suited to appeal.”
Ms. Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, added, “Beginning last winter, Air Canada deployed a larger aircraft to service St. Kitts and yet we still reported higher load factors than the previous winter. Looking ahead, we are seeing unprecedented demand from Canada this year as a result of our marketing efforts.”
In addition to Minister Grant and CEO Brown, the St. Kitts tourism delegation included its Chairman of the Board of Directors of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Nick Menon, Director of Sales and Marketing of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Avenice Thompson and special guest Mark Wilkin, Chairman of the Frigate Bay Development Corporation, from island along with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s Toronto-based Marketing Consultant, Canada, Paul Minich.
On Thursday, September 8, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority co-hosted an exclusive launch event for the September issue of West of the City magazine, which contained a five-page profile on St. Kitts. The invitation-only, sold out event was held at Yolanda’s, an exclusive restaurant venue overlooking Bronte Harbour in Oakville. It provided the delegation an opportunity to speak directly with affluent Canadian travelers eager to learn about the island. The evening also showcased St. Kitts’ affiliation with lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama, with all attendees given Tommy Bahama St. Kitts fragrance samples in their gift bags at the end of the evening. West of the City magazine is an exclusive, upscale magazine specifically targeting high-income demographic neighbourhoods in greater Toronto that reaches 35,000 homes with each issue.
Also on Thursday, Minister Grant and the St. Kitts team visited the offices of Air Canada Vacations to meet new Managing Director Nino Montagnese. Mr. Montagnese’s presentations to the team included commentary on the improved performance of the Toronto non-stop flight to St. Kitts. He also discussed how the two organizations can work even closer to capture the opportunities being created by the increased consumer marketing focus in Canada.
Earlier in the week, the St. Kitts team attended a full-day golf marketing summit held at the Hilton Toronto, hosted by St. Kitts with presentations from Golf Ontario, The National Golf Course Owners Association and Golf Away Tours. The summit highlighted the importance of consumer golf events, including the forty already conducted by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s Canadian team this past summer, and of promoting on-island tournaments.