The call came from Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Skerritt, at the annual marketing forum at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort earlier this month.
The annual event brought together a mix of tourism sector individuals and institutions to review results and to make input into the strategic plan for marketing the destination in the year ahead.
Tourism stakeholders including hoteliers and a variety of service providers turned out in impressive numbers, demonstrating their commitment to improving and growing St. Kitts’ tourism industry.
Rosecita Jeffers, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, during the two-day meeting, emphasized the importance of the forum’s ‘partnership’ theme and said.
“In order for St. Kitts to grow and thrive as a business and leisure travel destination, it is imperative that we cultivate a tourism marketing strategy that is based on effective partnership – partnership not only with our contracted agencies and representatives but, just as importantly, amongst all of our local stakeholders,” she said.
The Authority said in a statement on Monday, that overseas and locally based St. Kitts Tourism Authority officers and agents each presented updates on various market segment responsibilities, including the dive, weddings and other group niches, and examined the results of agent and operator productivity.
The introduction of a new Destination Specialist programme for travel agents was also discussed. Presenters focused on providing private sector stakeholders with specific ways in which they could participate in various marketing activities, from submitting information for the island’s e-newsletters to providing brochures for trade and consumer shows.
Presentations even took place during lunch, which was sponsored by long-time advertising partner Bridal Guide magazine. Attendees were also briefed on the destination’s digital marketing programme, advertising and website by creative consultants ‘Tambourine’, and public relations consultants, ‘Adams Unlimited’, facilitated discussion on key social media initiatives as well as the results of the most recent exit surveys conducted at the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, offering concrete insight into actual visitor demographics and feedback from destination experiences.
In addition to the presentations, attendees were offered the option of taking part in one of two workshops, one designed to teach the essentials of how to use Twitter and the other to educate stakeholders about various sales tactics.
The St. Kitts Tourism Authority officers and consultants toured Kittitian Hill and Christophe Harbour tourism projects to provide them with first-hand knowledge to use in promoting the destination. Officers and consultants were also allotted time to arrange and conduct one-on-one meetings with stakeholders before leaving the island.