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HomeNewsRegional NewsSummer of fun highlighted at CHTA Marketplace

Summer of fun highlighted at CHTA Marketplace

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by Staff reporter

Ellison Tommy Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, has been actively promoting the Federation as the go-to summer destination for travelers. Thompson is currently in Montego Bay, Jamaica, attending the 42nd Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Authority’s Marketplace.

“we’re getting ready to kick off our summer of fun, and with the shift of events that we have, we begin with the St. Kitts Music Festival, which is the 22nd to the 30th of June, that’s followed by the Nevis Mango Festival, the 5th to the 7th of July, and Nevis claim that they’ve got 44 different varieties of mangoes,” Thompson told reporters.

He continued: “We then have the St. Kitts and Nevis Restaurant Week, 11th to the 21st of July, then the 50th anniversary of the Nevis Cultural Rama, which is the 25th of July to the 6th of August, and then we end the summer with the Caribbean Premier League T20 Cricket, and that’s the 21st of August to the 8th of September. So, the St. Kitts Music Festival, it’s really three nights of concerts, but we have lots of French events around it, and it’s really exercise and endurance, so you have to come for it. So, we have a really great lineup.”

“On the Saturday night, we’ve got Mary J. Blige, we’ve also got Rick Ross, Anka Line, Small Axe Band, some of the local bands, some Caribbean bands, but also we’ve got some of the oldie goldies, like Third World. “

The CHTA Marketplace brings together stakeholders from around the world and local, regional, and international media. During his presentation, Thompson revealed that the  Federation saw a slight uptick in stay-over tourism so far this year.

“So, when we look at statistics, April year to date, we’ve had 13,328 stopover passengers, that’s 15.9% above 2023, which was at 11,501, and now we’re only 6.3% below 2019, which was at 14,219. One of the bright spots is the UK, as of March 1st, 2024 versus 2023, we’re up 17% year to date, and we are up 8% above 2019.

“So, one of the goals that we benchmark is 2019, and we’re glad that we’re hitting that very well. Regarding cruise arrivals, similar to many other territories in the region, St. Kitts and Nevis is considering tapping into the Latin and South American markets. Latin America will definitely be in the medium to the long term, and that is a factor of us trying to ensure that we are filling the flights that we have coming in now.”

Similar to many other territories in the region, St. Kitts and Nevis is considering tapping into the Latin and South American markets.

“We’ve got a lot of new airlifts coming in, especially from the Northeast, so that’s a concentration initially, and as we move forward, then we’ll look at the Latin American market, and also the connectivity from Latin America to St. Kitts has to be better. And we’re in discussion within the Caribbean, because they’re looking to do additional flights out of Latin America, and so how do we then tap into that? So, it’s definitely in the plan, but it’s not in the immediate plan.”

Thompson also addressed concerns about the RLB Airport, which has been a point of concern due to its size.

“The SCASPA, which is the arm that deals with the seaports and airports, they are now in the process of engaging a consultant to look at a second terminal, and expanding the terminal at RLB airport in St. Kitts. So, that’s under active consideration. The consultant has just been engaged, so it’s going to be another two, three years before it’s actually come to fruition.”

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