Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 10, 2016 (SKNIS): Speaking at the August 09 Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) meeting, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that the wide array of services that St. Kitts offers far exceeds the cruise passengers’ expectations and that the pressure is now on the destination to remain along this road, while continuing to handle growth.
The minister said that presently there are tours that take a large number of visitors out into the wider country, on trains, sailboats, motor boats, buses, ATVs, helicopters, hiking trails, horseback, jeeps, mopeds and bicycles. This is in addition to the traditional sun and sand offerings.
It was said that passenger satisfaction is extremely important and that is why the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority monitor closely the feedback from customers.
“Our product standards department at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority continues to work feverishly to educate stakeholders and to sustain best practices locally,” explained the minister. “The reasons for this is to ensure guest satisfaction surveys scores do not decrease but increase and in doing so, they will recommend and refer us to other visitors and come again.”
Minister Grant reported that St. Kitts as a destination is now approaching the status of a marquee port and is working on the various challenges faced. He said that for the upcoming cruise season, new measures will be implemented to further increase tourist satisfaction.
The tourism minister said that the FCCA has challenged destinations to incorporate the four Rs. These include reinvent- identify new product offerings or improve service standards and enforce safety standards; rejuvenate – review taxi and tour operators’ tours and ensure tour guides have correct and factual information and are able to relay this information in the language of visitors; refine – ongoing training to enforce regulations and standards; revitalise- public restrooms accessibility and overall destination cleanliness.
The Ministry of Tourism and St. Kitts Tourism Authority have identified priority areas for improvements. These include The Strip, Timothy Hill, Black Rocks and Cockleshell Beach. All are to be done this year. The Strip, and Black Rocks are already on the way. The Strip will cost some $7million when completed. Black Rocks will cost in the region of $250,000.
The minister said that tourism is everybody’s business and all have a stake in the continued development of the cruise sector. He added that it is important to operate at a standard that gives everyone an equal opportunity to make money, while at the same time providing guests a wonderful Kittitian experience.