Oct 25 St. Kitts and Nevis, one of 10 Caribbean destinations where tourist arrivals growing St. Kitts, tourism, St. Kitts is one of top 10 islands in Caribbean, St. Kitts is one of top 10 destinations in Caribbean, arrivals going up, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Barbados, Jamaica, Anguilla, Aruba, Belize, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Monsterrat, Suriname



St. Kitts and Nevis, one of 10 Caribbean destinations where tourist arrivals growingBASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 24th 2013 (CUOPM) - The Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) says St. Kitts and Nevis is one of 10 tourism destinations in the Caribbean where tourist arrivals are growing faster than the world average.

According to the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper arrivals to the Caribbean remain flat, despite 15.6 million tourists visiting the region between January and July this year.

Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Beverly Nicholson-Doty said there was no incremental difference when compared to the same period last year, but actual levels still remain above pre-crisis levels.

The CTO chairman told the media during a briefing on the final day of the State of the Industry Conference at the Madiana Palais des Congrès Convention Centre in Martinique last Friday that the findings, which were compiled by the CTO, show results from 18 destinations within the Caribbean.

She said seventeen of them recorded increases in tourist arrivals, with 10 growing faster than the world average of 5.2 per cent.

The 10 include Anguilla, Aruba, Belize, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guyana, Haiti, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Suriname.

Jamaica was not included in this list, owing to the closure and refurbishing of several hotels.

Indications are that the best-performing sub-region is the Dutch Caribbean, which recorded a 4.6 per cent increase over the corresponding period last year, while other markets such as South America have been doing exceptionally well.

While the United States (US) remains the region's largest source market, only a marginal growth of 0.8 percent was recorded in the January to July period, revealed CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley.

Riley said about 7.8 million tourists visited the region from the United States, an indication that the market share for the US rose slightly, moving from 49.6 percent in 2012 to 50.4 percent.

In the case of the Canadian market, which was referred to as the saving grace up to two years ago, there was contraction by 1.5 percent for the same period.

Riley, pointing out that the market share fell marginally to 13.1 percent, said 2.1 million Canadians visited the region in 2013 compared to 2.2 million in 2012.

Canadians took 1.6 percent fewer outbound trips to places other than the US. Their trips to the United States increased by 4.3 percent, a shift that statisticians at the CTO warn should be noted.

Not surprising, European arrivals to the Caribbean declined by 5.1 percent so far this year, a situation many still blame on the air passenger duty imposed by the United Kingdom.

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States was the region worst hit by the fall-off in European arrivals. It registered a 4.1 percent drop in arrivals from the UK, while CARICOM countries, including Jamaica, registered a 1.7 percent fall-off.

Cruise passenger arrivals to the Caribbean are also down, with 13.4 million visitors sailing into the region up to the end of July.

The State of the Industry Conference brought together decision-makers from the public and private sectors, academics, government officials, hoteliers, travel professionals, and journalists from the region and around the world. The conference ran from October 16-18.

Source: http://www.sknvibes.com/news/newsdetails.cfm/80658


May 06 Aviation ministers meet to discuss single Caribbean airline St. Kitts, Barbados, LIAT, BWIA, Eastern Caribbean, one airline, CARICOM



St. Kitts and Nevis' Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard "Ricky" Skerritt was among Caribbean aviation and transport ministers who met in St. Vincent on Tuesday to discuss a wide range of outstanding matters including the possibility of establishing a single regional airline.

Host Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonslaves speaking at a news conference, said that while his administration has no objection to the formation of a single airline to serve the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region, such initiatives in the past have not borne fruit.

"At the end of this month, we are hosting here a meeting on air transportation in CARICOM... as you know there are many issues outstanding and as you know I am always amused that the people who are supposed to be thinking about public policy don't look beyond the headlines."

He said five or six years ago, then prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, dissolved BWIA, formed Caribbean Airlines (CAL) and paid off all their debts.

But he said that in 2011, CAL made a loss of US$44 million "and last year they made a loss in the sum of close to US$84 million.

"That is plenty money in any language whatsoever and there is re-thinking of certain things and the call has been made by many persons for one Caribbean airline.

"We have no problem with that," he said, noting that the fine print would need to be examined.

"I am very mindful before BWIA was dissolved, BWIA took decisions where they simply cut off a lot of flights without notice to Barbados, which affected us here in the Eastern Caribbean and I see on more than one occasion where they have acted not consistent with our own transportation needs.

"I am not going to leave the bone of LIAT for the shadow of something else. So I would like to see a complete revamping of air transportation in the region so that we can get all the relevant synergies," CMC quotes the Prime Minister as saying.

Gonsalves has been critical of Port-of-Spain for providing a subsidy to CAL which he said goes against the provisions of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs CARICOM.

Source: http://www.sknvibes.com/news/newsdetails.cfm/73117