Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 13, 2010 (CUOPM)
British Airways London – St. Kitts route is the fastest growing Caribbean service for the British carrier with encouragingly strong forward bookings.
This was highlighted during recent discussions in London between St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt and British Airways Head of UK & Ireland Sales and Marketing, Richard Tams and Business Development Manager, Alison Nicholls, and their support team.
Celebrating the success of the twice-weekly British Airways Gatwick service to St. Kitts, Minister Skerritt, who was in the British capital attending a strategic review meeting at BA’s Waterside Head Office, said the early success of the St. Kitts route, including the midweek Tuesday service which was launched only three months ago, has exceeded the best expectations.
“This UK airlift success to date, and the optimism coming from all of the British Airways officials and the travel media who I met, is fantastic news for a small island nation like St. Kitts and Nevis in such a challenging economic environment. These results should provide the platform to encourage all of our stakeholders to nurture new and existing partnerships in the UK market, while undertaking new initiatives at home going forward. We look forward to maintaining this special partnership with British Airways long into the future,” said Sen. Skerritt.
BA’s Head of UK & Ireland sales, Richard Tams expressed optimism of the St. Kitts to London-Gatwick route.
“We are delighted at the continued success of the St. Kitts route, especially with the second service we introduced three months ago. St. Kitts is a very popular destination and forward bookings look very encouraging, which is testament to the attraction of the island.”
The new BA route has sparked growing interest in St. Kitts as a holiday destination from media professionals who met with Minister Skerritt in one on one interviews during the course of his visit, to find out what makes St. Kitts so special as an authentic Caribbean destination.
The Media were enthused with details of the island’s emerging high quality product, existing key attractions, its natural and unspoilt beauty, genuine hospitality and the overall holiday experience afforded to visitors to St. Kitts and Nevis.
Minister Skerritt also took the opportunity to hold discussions with BA and the media on the troubling subject of the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD), speaking about the growing concern at its likely negative effect on visitors planning to travel to St Kitts, and its anticipated harmful impact on the Caribbean tourism economy as a whole.
He told the UK media interviewers that, in his opinion, the fairest short term solution would be to rebrand the entire Caribbean into the same tax category as Bermuda and Florida, while working to restructure or remove the tax completely in the long term.