Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) – St. Kitts tourism marketing officials from here and overseas gathered in Basseterre to chart the way forward in marketing the destination.
Participants from the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in Basseterre, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, were engaged in intensive sessions to optimize destination marketing activities and ultimately deliver the maximum benefit to local stakeholders and island residents.
The team was welcomed by Tourism Minister Ricky Skerritt in the opening session on Tuesday morning. Skerritt reminded the tourism officers that sustainable tourism is about improving the livelihoods of local residents while delivering a memorable destination experience to visitors. He also congratulated them on the numerous successes now being achieved in St. Kitts tourism.
“These sessions area about meeting the needs of the market. It is critical in this highly competitive tourism environment that we at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority employ the most effective, efficient and innovative solutions for marketing the destination,” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the Tourism Authority.
“We cannot do what has always been done and expect to move the needle upward in a significant way. Rather, we are reviewing all marketing and promotional activities to ensure optimal results are achieved in all our source markets,” she said.
This is the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s second bi-annual Marketing Retreat for this year, which was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
Sessions included strategy meetings, visits to new developments and establishments undergoing renovation and a hands-on study of the golf tourism product. Retreat activities were held during a major meeting with local stakeholders, where St. Kitts’ tourism officers and partners discussed the way forward for St. Kitts’ tourism.
The overseas team of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority participated in the Retreat and consisted of the following individuals: Carolyn James, Director, Canada; Brad Richards, Marketing Officer, Canada; Patrice Henry, Marketing Officer, New York; Abdullah Skerritt, Director of e-Business Operations, Washington DC; Jennifer Hensley, Marketing Manager, London; Lisa Elmes, Consultant, London; Deirdre Cumberbatch (Rivers Communications), public relations in UK Market; Candice Kimmel (Adams Unlimited) public relations, North America; Cathy Preece (Adams Unlimited) public relations, North America; Adriana Suao (Tambourine), Media and Brand Management; Illeana Rousseau, Consultant (niche markets), North America; Denise Zimber, Consultant (niche markets) North America and Tom Jaronski, Consultant, golf.
St. Kitts is currently ranked, with sister island Nevis, at #3 on a list of the Best Islands in the World, #3 on a list of the Best Caribbean Vacations, and #7 on a list of the Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations in the World, #8 on a list of Best Caribbean Honeymoons, and #8 on a list of the Best Affordable Caribbean Destinations by US News & World Report.
It is also currently ranked #8 on a list of the Top 10 Best Islands for a Holiday by Places To See In Your Lifetime, #14 on a list of the 50 Travel Destinations That Will Be Huge In The Next 10 Years by Business Insider and one of the Top 12 Best Caribbean Vacations on FlipKey.com, the vacation rental company of leading travel website, TripAdvisor®.
In 2012, St. Kitts was named one of “5 Caribbean Islands to Discover Now” by MSNBC. The island was also named one of the “Top 12 Spots that should be on your list for 2012” by Caribbean Travel + Life magazine and a Top Destination for 2011 by both AOL Travel and British Airways.