Describing the present situation as “exciting,” the Chairman of the Authority, Mr. Alphonso O’Garro said the body is trying to document and look at lessons learned over the past years with the aim of properly shaping a strategy for the future.
“The industry as it is now is really poised for a rebound. We have seen in the last three or four years a downturn and this is the tipping point where it begins to look up and based on all of the components that exists now in the industry, the cruise sector, the hotel accommodation sector (and), the attractions, I think a lot of stuff is really coming together,” said Mr. O’Garro.
‘If we can harness all that and really bring it to a tipping point and leverage that, we certainly would be comfortable in terms of shaping the future for tourism industry in St. Kitts,” said Mr. O’Garro in an exclusive interview onboard the Norwegian Breakaway.
Mr. O’Garro is of the view that the recent increase in flights between the United States and St. Kitts, the operationalisation of the private jet terminal, the opening of the Saddle Adventure Park and other new attractions are key components of putting together a comprehensive destination experience.
“The new flights really speak to the air bridge. You have to constantly provide ease of access to the destination. People from where ever they are, need to be able to connect within the shortest possible time to visit destination and so its compliment the marketing plan and the marketing activities where we create the demand, the excitement about the island,” Mr. O’Garro said.
He added that St. Kitts as a tourism destination has to provide the facilities for visitors to get to the island.
“Once the visitor gets here, we need to ensure that they get the destination experience from the accommodation sector, the comfort, the experience, the attractions in terms of what they do when they get here, all contribute to a holistic experience that we must continue to manage. So all the components together would certainly shape the visitor experience and hopefully it would be of such so they would speak of it and others will come based on that,” said the St. Kitts Tourism Authority chairman.
“It comes down to a business transaction and every stakeholder, every partner, must look at it from that perspective and the visitor becomes a client, the visitor becomes a customer, and so the customer experience, the customer value, based on the cost that they pay, have a vested interest in assuring the customer experience is paramount,” said Mr. O’Garro.