Nevis Tourism Authority CEO speaks to new initiatives

NIA Charlestown Nevis —Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA) Greg Phillip listed a number of initiatives the Authority had taken which was showing success with attracting visitors to Nevis.

In an interview with the Department of Information on August 01, 2014, Phillip noted that to add to the exposure the island continued to receive via the international media, the NTA recently produce a new advertisement about the Nevis product which he stated had become necessary.

“The idea for the ad came about from just opportunities that arise periodically where we recognise that there is a need for Nevis to have a new video ad.

“We have ramped up our marketing activities and because of that there are many times when we get requests: ‘Do we have a television ad? Do we have video footage that we can actually use to help promote the island of Nevis?’ We now have one and we are quite pleased with it and are about to put it in the public domain for a number of uses,” he said.

Phillip described the new advertisement as one which emphasised the fact that Nevis was a unique destination that could not be compared with any other in the region.

“The ad plays on the fact that we recognise that there is a lot of misconceptions out there about the Caribbean and the fact that many people seem to think that all the islands in the Caribbean are the same. The food is the same. The music is the same. The feel is the same.

“What we are doing with this ad is playing on this misconception and sending a strong message that Nevis is not like the rest of the Caribbean and the way we are really doing that is bringing out some of the highlights about Nevis, not just in video footage but people and people who are in the right positions to really sell the experience of Nevis, letting everyone know that Nevis is unlike the rest of the Caribbean,” he said.

According to the Authority’s CEO, the NTA’s work to promote Nevis took various forms and presented many challenges which it had to overcome in positive ways which highlighted Nevis in the best way possible.

“What we have been doing is making sure that we stay ahead of what is expected and bring a few things that are innovative and things that we know would cause this Nevis Tourism Authority to be even more useful to the tourism industry,” he said.

Among other initiatives the in which the NTA had been engaged was the renovation of a section of the building to include a Visitor Centre.

“There is a bit of construction or renovation going on here at the Nevis Tourism Authority building. The downstairs is the first place that we are working on because, essentially, what we are doing is building a true Visitor Centre for the island of Nevis, to ensure that when the droves of tourists that we get coming into our building, that when they come in they have every opportunity to know and feel and understand what is available on the island of Nevis for them to partake of.

“So our Visitor Centre is under construction and in probably about a month when everything is fully completed and all the systems are in place, we will be able to unveil that also, ensure what we have available and how this Visitor Centre is really going to help to not only showcase Nevis but bring the tourist into contact with Nevis and expose them to things that they are able to do on Nevis, expose them in a very special and specific way to motivate them and also to help them to book whether its dinner, excursions, whatever it is but just so we can be more useful to the tourism sector and the wider community of Nevis along with the visitors,” he said.

Phillip also explained that as a result the NTA’s international efforts, staff there have had to engage in more travelling.

“As part of our effort we have been doing a number of things internationally. So yes our travel has increased because we have to go out and make sure that we are reaching the people who we need to, all the travel professionals who would send people to Nevis. So we have been doing that and we have a lot of assistance internationally now.

“We are quite comfortable for the first time in the promotion of Nevis. We now have professionals on board with us in various parts of the world that we consider our major source markets where our visitors come from.We now have those in place by way of public relations and marketing people,” he said and noted who the agencies were.

“We have the Portfolio Management Group (PMG) in North America that covers the USA and Canada. For our Caribbean push we are focusing heavily on Puerto Rico and there we have Zurdo Advertising and Promotions and then the UK, we have Sponge Marketing. These are people who we now have on board with us to really help us to spread the word about Nevis,” he said.

Also, Phillip explained that the NTA had engaged the services of an airline consultant from a US-based company which would navigate through issues faced by the Authority in the area of airlift.

“Airlift is completely critical to our tourism industry and when we speak airlift, of course we are not just speaking about airlift into our airport here at the Vance W. Amory International Airport. Our airlift and our quest to develop and strengthen the airlift to support the tourism industry on Nevis, yes, has to do with what we do here on the island of Nevis and that is part of the work that we are doing.

“It also includes conversations and opportunities that we can secure with international carriers, even though they do not fly into Nevis. So there are quite a lot of moving parts when it comes to airlift and its critically important to have somebody on board who knows and understands the language and who is an expert in that field. The Nevis Tourism Authority has fully engaged someone there to help us,” he said.

However, Phillip anticipated that in the future Nevis would be on a better footing where airlift was concerned.

“We also anticipate that in the future we will be on a much better footing as it relates to airlift, to bring visitors in and out of Nevis. Whether it’s direct to Nevis or through some of the other hubs that we have and utilise for people to travel to and from Nevis,” he said.

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