St Kitts ramps up UK trade activity with fam trips and training

Forty UK travel trade partners are visiting St Kitts & Nevis on five group fam trips this year.

Two took place in April and May, with the remaining three scheduled for July, October, and November.

The four-night itineraries give agents, reservations staff and tour operator product managers the opportunity to visit a wide range of accommodation on both St. Kitts and Nevis and sample the food, culture and activities available to holidaymakers.

The ’40 Fams’ programme to mark the 40th anniversary of St. Kitts & Nevis’ independence is one of a host of activities  as the Caribbean destination ramps up activity with the UK travel trade post-Covid.

Other trade initiatives across the year include a ‘lunch and learn’ scheme aimed at supporting homeworkers.

Monthly coffee mornings, in which agents are hosted in groups of five or six around the country, are being held for destination training. 

Virtual and in-person training sessions for tour operator frontline sales teams have included Classic Collection, ITC, Turquoise Holidays and Hummingbird Travel.

This year also sees St. Kitts Tourism Authority instigate its first post-Covid co-op marketing campaign with Travel Counsellors.

St Kitts Tourism Authority chief executive Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson said: “2023 is a special year for us, as St. Kitts & Nevis celebrates 40 years of independence, and we wanted to do something big with our UK travel trade partners to mark the milestone.  

“Having as many as 40 trade partners out to experience our unique tourism product in one year is unprecedented, but, in keeping with the St Kitts style of intimate and relaxed, we have arranged the fams into five small groups with visits spread out across the year and tailored itineraries to ensure our partners get the most out of their visits.  

“As one of the smaller Caribbean islands, the trade is vitally important to St Kitts in driving tourism and, with our twice-weekly, year-round British Airways flight from Gatwick, the UK is a significant market.

“Our efforts to ramp up activity with our UK trade partners post-Covid with targeted trainings and events, co-op marketing programmes and a special fam trip programme, which began with the appointment, last year, of a dedicated, agent-facing representative for St Kitts, is really paying a dividend.  

“So far this year, monthly arrivals from the UK to St Kitts have been at or above 2019 levels, which is, in no small part, down to the support of our UK trade partners.”

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