One Million Cruise Visitors for Two Consecutive Seasons

BASSETERRE (14TH August, 2019): St. Kitts maintained its marquee port status with the arrival of the Carnival Fascination today.  For the second consecutive cruise season, the destination welcomed over one million cruise passengers.

Carnival Fascination of the Carnival Cruise Line arrived with 2,659 passengers, bringing the total for the current 2018-19 cruise season, as of today, to 1,005,876 passengers. The cruise season is annually, October to September..

During the 2017-’18 cruise season, the destination welcomed 1 million cruise passengers for the first time on Monday 16th July 2018. Minister of Tourism The Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant pointed out that reaching the million mark back-to-back is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all of our tourism stakeholders.

However, Minister Grant cautioned them that a lot more work still needs to be done.

“Indeed, the time to STEP UP is now,” Minister Grant said. “Our cruise sector is growing at a record rate, however in order to reap the full economic benefit, we need to constantly provide a warm and friendly welcome to all of our guests. We all need to #StepUp to deliver only our best attitudes and services, because the amount of visitors’ spend, is linked to their satisfaction with the destination… to all of us.”

The St. Kitts Tourism Authority has embarked on a tourism awareness campaign called #StepUp, to raise the standard of service in the tourism industry, as to ably meet the growing demand of the record numbers of arrivals to the island.

That is why since 2015 Minister Grant has continued his support for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s Customer Service Workshops, held annually for frontline workers in the tourism sector. The goal is to develop an appreciation of the need to offer excellent customer service, and to teach interpersonal communication skills to enable them to interact in a more business-friendly and professional manner to enhance the quality of the visitor’s experience.

Another major milestone was accomplished in this cruise season, when the newly built Symphony of the Seas – the world’s largest cruise ship – made its inaugural visit to St. Kitts on December 11, 2018.  This Oasis class ship will make total of 13 calls bringing approximately 88,140 passengers to island.

In the last cruise year the average cruise passenger spend was US$135.94 in St. Kitts, the third highest in the Caribbean.  According to the study released by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), Economic Contribution of Cruise Tourism to the Destination Economies to the FCCA, cruise tourism directly generated US$143 million to the St. Kitts economy, along with nearly 2,065 jobs, paying more than US$17 million in wage income.

Work is progressing on the construction of the second pier at Port Zante, and will be ready to accommodate ships in the next cruise season. The second pier will enable St. Kitts to host up to three Oasis class ships at Port Zante at once. This is something few Caribbean destinations are able to do and gives St. Kitts another competitive edge in the cruise industry as lines begin moving towards larger ships.
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