BASSETERRE (20th March, 2017): A high-level delegation of tourism officials and partners recently attended Seatrade, a leading cruise industry convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Seatrade Cruise Global Conference is the world’s largest annual cruise industry exhibition and conference.
The three-day event presented opportunities for networking, sourcing and education with cruise industry leaders.
Chief Executive Officer of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Racquel Brown, said Seatrade provides the opportunity for local stakeholders to form vital relationships with cruise line executives to further grow the St. Kitts cruise sector.
“As a leading cruise destination, it is important that we engage feedback from our cruise line partners regarding customer satisfaction and also develop new business from other cruise lines,” said CEO Brown. “We are always mindful that we are competing in a global market, therefore we need to continually work together to refresh our product to ensure that our shore excursions obtain high guest satisfaction levels with ongoing training and standards. Success is measured by the amount of per-person spend per day, average time spent on shore, and satisfaction levels, all of which are dependent on the guest experience.”
CEO Brown pointed out that cruise continues to be essential to the economic growth in St. Kitts and that in the last ten years, the global cruise industry has seen a 62 percent increase, with more than 200,000 berths, supporting 1 million jobs globally and US$50 million in income of which St. Kitts has received significant benefits.
Norwegian Cruise Lines President Mr. Frank J. Del Rio stated that: “Shore excursions are the number one revenue driver for cruise lines.”
It is important that St. Kitts has that diverse product offering for the cruise lines to offer their guests.
Cruise ships will make a total of 391 calls to St. Kitts in this cruise season, with 16 new ships arriving here for the very first time.
Key to the growth of cruise deployment in the Caribbean is the ability of San Juan to provide home porting infrastructure. Without this infrastructure the lines would have to home port in Miami which would result in a decrease in deployment to some of the Eastern Caribbean Territories as a result of the distance from the home port.
Seatrade Cruise Global draws about 900 exhibiting companies and over 11,000 attendees.The conference brings together top industry suppliers, cruise line buyers and decision makers from around the world for a three-day exhibition and four-day conference, it serves all sectors of the global cruise industry from shipbuilding through services, technology, operations and destinations.
The tourism delegation to Seatrade consisted of: the Minister of Public Infrastructure, Post, Urban Development and Transport( Hon. Ian Patches Liburd), CEO at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority(Racquel Brown), Chairman at Blue Water Safaris( Bryan Monkhouse), Chairman at SCASPA (Don Boncamper), CEO at SCASPA (Denzil James), President and Director at the St. Kitts Scenic Railway (Steve Hites), Tour Operations and Marketing Manager at the St. Kitts Scenic Railway (Kimmy Decosta), Product Development Manager at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (Melnecia Marshall), Marketing Associate at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (Jennifer Hensley), General Manager of the Brimstone Hill Society (Percival Hanley), Executive Chairman at Delisle Walwyn (Clayton Perkins), Senior Manager of Operations and Strategic Planning at Delisle Walwyn (Errington Fyfield) and Manager of Flamboyant Tours( Hazel Webster).