A signature activity in US, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority conducted its 2nd annual Destination St. Kitts & Nevis US Roadshow 2019 from Monday, March 25 to Friday, March 29. The week-long series of 6 events were held in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Houston, Farmer’s Branch (Texas) and Dallas in order to grow visitor arrivals from these gateway markets and supporting flow markets. These events were designed to educate travel agents, tour operators, MICE buyers, wedding and honeymoon planners, media and experiential lifestyle consumers about everything the destination has to offer both business and leisure travelers.
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“This year’s US Roadshow was a resounding success with record numbers of attendees for each event,” said the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism for St. Kitts & Nevis. “Having attracted the sheer number of travel agents, MICE buyers, media and more who sell or publicize business and/or leisure travel demonstrates that there is growing interest and demand in these gateway markets for the tourism product that St. Kitts & Nevis has to offer.”
The first event was a brunch held at The Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, New York, an affluent suburb north of New York City on Monday, March 25. The second event was a dinner held at the Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, New Jersey, an upscale neighborhood in the northern part of the state, also on March 25. On Tuesday, March 26, the third event was a dinner held at the Westin Buckhead, located in an affluent suburb just north of Atlanta. The fourth event was a luncheon held on Wednesday, March 27, at the Hess Club in Houston. A cocktail reception held on Thursday, March 27 at the Brookhaven Country Club in Farmer’s Branch, an affluent suburb of Dallas, Texas, was the fifth event in the Roadshow, while the sixth and final event was a luncheon held at III Forks Restaurant in Dallas.
All events supported St. Kitts’ non-stop flights and attracted a total of 300 attendees combined, all of whom were travel agents, MICE buyers, tour operators, wedding and honeymoon planners, media or experiential lifestyle consumers. Attendees were top travel professionals representing some of the most respected organizations in the business, including Maritz Travel, Cox Enterprises, Pro Travel International, Meetings Plus, Valerie Wilson Travel, Houston Style Magazine, Frosch, Questex LLC, Travel Impressions, and Westchester magazine.
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“Developing lasting relationships with top travel professionals in our key gateway markets is a key component of our overall marketing strategy for the destination and our Roadshow provides us with the opportunity to connect with these individuals face-to-face,” added Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “In order to continue growing arrivals, we need to maintain and expand our base of sellers to help fill our non-stop flights as we continue to build out new and increased airlift from the US.”
In addition to being treated to a meal and lively conversation with representatives from St. Kitts, the individuals played games, listened to presentations and won a variety of prizes from hotel stays to bottles of St. Kitts’ own Brinley Gold Shipwreck rum that were provided by participating local island tourism stakeholders. In addition, attending travel agents were offered a special $150 incentive for booking clients’ air only on the non-stop flights to St. Kitts or air in combination with a hotel reservation at participating destination hotels, all offering special Summer Sunsation rates, between now and May 17, 2019 for clients’ travel through August 17, 2019 when they log their productivity on St. Kitts’ website or via the Destination Specialist program with Travel Agent University. As a result, many attendees are now adding St. Kitts & Nevis as a featured destination they will sell to their clients.
The delegation from St. Kitts inclded: the Hon. Lindsay F. P. Grant, Minister of Tourism for St. Kitts & Nevis; Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Ambassador Jonel Powell, Chairman of the Artist Selection Committee for the St. Kitts Music Festival; Annie Sinzinger, US Marketing Manager for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Denise Zimber, Christina Mucha and Shayna White, Marketing Consultants for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Tom Jaronski, Golf Consultant for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; and Candice Kimmel, CEO and Founder of Adams Unlimited, PR & Marketing Agency in North America for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
A number of tourism stakeholders from St. Kitts & Nevis were also part of the delegation, including: Troy Hendrickson, Carib Journey Masters; Tawanna Wigley, Sales Representative, Ocean Terrace Inn; Richard Berridge, General Manager, Kayanjet; Jaana Kuntonen, Sunlinc; Christine Marshall, Sales Manager, Park Hyatt St. Kitts; Sylvia Martinez, Director of Sales and Marketing, St. Kitts Marriott; Tim Thuell, Nisbet Plantation; Cyndi Miller-Aird, President, Miller + Aird Destination Marketing for Belle Mont Farm; Jamar Wilkins, Travel Industry Sales Manager, Four Seasons Resort Nevis; and Darren Thompson, General Manager, Royal St. Kitts.