British Airways celebrated on new look St. Kitts and Nevis stand at the 2010 World Travel Market

From left to right: Rosecita Jeffers, CEO, St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Alfonso O’Garro, Chairman, St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Claire Buckland, British Airways; Ricky Skerritt, Minister of Tourism St. Kitts; Duncan Hall, British Airways; Sally Crier, British Airways and Claire Rawson, Board Member, St Kitts Tourism Authority

London, November 9, 2010: The destinations of St. Kitts and Nevis jointly became a focal point at the start of the 2010 World Travel Market. For the first time for many years, St. Kitts and Nevis were represented together as a joint stand at the World Travel Market, the four-day premier global event for the international travel industry. The neighbouring sister islands were represented by simultaneously highlighting the unique aspects of the two island destinations while also acting as a platform to once again celebrate the success of the British Airways service to St. Kitts and the now added Tuesday flight, which commenced with great fanfare in March 2010.

The twin-island destinations were ably represented by a public and private sector delegation headed by Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Ricky Skerritt; and also included Chairman Alfonso O’Garro and CEO Rosecita Jeffers, of the St Kitts Tourism Authority; Allister Yearwood, Tourism Adviser to the Premier of Nevis, Tyrone O’Flaherty, Permanent Secretary and John Hanley, CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority. On Monday, Minister Skerritt attended high-profile meetings with BA representatives including Duncan Hall, Alison Nicholls and Claire Buckland to discuss the twice-weekly route and further strengthen the on-going partnership with one of the world’s leading airlines, later celebrating with a photo-shoot and toast to British Airways on the attractive St. Kitts and Nevis stand.

The success of the BA service will also be highlighted during one to one media interviews with Travel Trade Gazette and Travelmole TV, where Minister Skerritt will discuss the topic of airlift and the APD along with other issues relating to the future of tourism in St. Kitts and Nevis, including new resort developments taking shape on the islands and development in the sports and cruise tourism sectors.

Commenting at the start of WTM, Minister Skerritt said, “I warmly thank British Airways and all of our UK travel partners for the confidence they continue to show in St. Kitts and Nevis, and also appreciate the outstanding work of our London office for preparing such an impressive joint presentation at the World Travel Market, which represents the ideal platform to cement and build on our partnerships which are crucial to our future success as Caribbean destinations. WTM offers us an important opportunity to be at the forefront of achievements and trends within the global travel industry, while discussing with our travel partners our expectations for St. Kitts and Nevis. I feel truly honoured to be a part of this well organised display by our two islands, at such a high-profile industry event.”

In preparation for the week ahead, Minister Skerritt represented St. Kitts and Nevis at the annual WTM European Marketing Forum, held on Sunday 7th November at the prestigious offices of the Telegraph Media Group, to hear from key speakers including Graham Boynton, Travel Editor of Telegraph Group Travel, discuss the challenges facing the British and European travel industry.

On Monday 8th November, Minister Ricky Skerritt joined dignitaries, fellow Ministers of Tourism and heads of travel companies for the WTM Forecast Forum and unveiling of the 2010 Industry Report, highlighting the latest trends in the travel and tourism industry. The event was followed closely by the official VIP Opening Ceremony of World Travel Market, where Minister Skerritt joined other attendees for a glimpse of the new 787 Dreamliner, billed as the most environmentally friendly aircraft ever built.

The two events kick-started further high-profile engagements for Minister Skerritt in his capacity as CTO Chairman, including meetings with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and with UNWTO and CTO, joining African and Caribbean Ministers and Caribbean High Commissioners to discuss the issue of APD (Airline Passenger Duty), coming in to force during the WTM week.

Rounding off Monday’s WTM, Minister Skerritt and CEO, Rosecita Jeffers were official guests at the CTO’s annual travel media awards ceremony, held within the traditional atmosphere of a leading London Caribbean restaurant, ‘Caribbean Scene’.

World Travel Market, the premier global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Almost 46,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM 2010 will be the biggest-ever World Travel Market due to the £165 million expansion of host venue ExCeL, London. The event has a number of new features to attract new exhibitors including the WTM Sports Pavilion and the first exhibition floor WTM Technology Presentation Theatre.

For more information about St. Kitts, visit the website at www.stkittstourism.kn or follow St. Kitts on Facebook (My St Kitts) and/or Twitter (Stkittstourism).

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