CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 21, 2006)
A group of top travel agents from the United Kingdom will leave Nevis on Tuesday November 21, 2006, following a four day visit to Nevis with the compliments of British Airways. While on the island, the group was hosted by the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA).
Ms Helen Kidd, the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer, in an interview with the Government Information Service (GIS) on November 18, 2006 at a mini Market Place at the Mount Nevis Hotel, said it was important for the agents to see the best Nevis had to offer. She said it was important to remember that these travel agents dealt with independent travellers rather than persons who bought travel packages.
She said the agents visit had been organised during Nevis attendance at the World Travel Market held in London in November 2005.“We were lucky enough to start building a partnership with the British Airways representatives and as a result of that relationship, the travel agents are here on Nevis. During November 2005 we (NTA) spoke to British Airways, we recognised the tour operators probably know the destination as best they can but we wanted to get the message out to the travel agents as well as the tour operators and as a result British Airways were partners in hosting these six people who have come to the island this week,” Ms. Kidd said.
Meantime, in brief interviews with three of the travel agents at the mini Market Place on Saturday, they all had rave reviews for the island. They indicated that Nevis was an ideal destination for their clientele and had much to offer.
Clair Levy of Quality Travel, a small upscale market agency in London and Reigate told GIS that she had had two past visits to Nevis, nine and five years ago respectively. On her third and current visit she realised that Nevis had changed beyond words and was pleased with the changes that had taken place in the hotel sector.
She said Saturday’s Market Place was a wonderful idea since travel agents did not often get the chance to meet with tour or villa operators and other activities people.
“My clients want something a little bit beyond the normal they don’t want to just to know that the hotel is good but they want to know what they could do around the island. So it’s going to help me sell it [Nevis],” she said.
Paul Dayon Spa Travel in England which caters to an upscale clientele said though it was his first visit to Nevis, the destination offered a product with a difference. He said his agency was looking for new areas to sell in the United Kingdom and Nevis was “something unique” which their clients would enjoy.
Janice Gray of Travel Source Network based in London Ontario is a home based Travel Agent in Toronto said she had learnt much about Nevis.
“I am just amazed at how beautiful it [Nevis] is, how unspoiled it is and the friendliness of the people and I think that has really made an impact on me”¦ I have clients back in Canada who are really interested in mountain hiking, triathlon, even so I have a lot of information to take back,” she said.
Since the Agents arrival on Thursday, they were treated to an island tour, visited the museums and some of the accommodation sector on Friday and on Saturday they met with a number of activity providers on Nevis during the Market Place at the Mount Nevis Hotel.
During Saturday morning’s activity, the agents including a visiting agent from Canada had the opportunity to dialogue with small business owners who offered hiking, water sports, and horseback riding. They also met with persons from villa and condominium accommodations and real estate providers.
Immediately following they were treated to a catamaran cruise to St. Kitts where they had the opportunity to do some snorkelling. On Saturday evening they dined at the Gallipot Restaurant at Tamarind Bay. On Sunday they had another full day on Monday they attend their final dinner before their departure, this time at the Montpelier Plantation Inn.
CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 21, 2006)