st kittsAll Images: Ilona Kauremszky

Honourable Mr Lindsay FP Grant and Racquel Brown, chief executive officer of the St Kitts Tourism Authority.

By Ilona Kauremszky

There are Caribbean islands--and then there are St Kitts and Nevis.

The country’s new Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce, Honourable Mr Lindsay FP Grant, who assumed the position in February, was at the Park Hyatt Toronto to discuss future tourism developments with local media and why agents need to put St Kitts first.

“St Kitts is more than sun, sand and sea,” he told CT. “We are a lifestyle destination.”

The twin island nation comprised of St Kitts and Nevis located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean boasts British history dating as far back as 1623. “It was the first landing in the Caribbean for English settlers. We have a lot of history. There’s a fantastic fort called the Brimstone Hill Fortress,” Minister Grant said, noting the UNESCO World Heritage Site which is situated in a national park.

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Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce, Honourable Mr Lindsay F Grant.

Discerning Visitors

And unlike the other Caribbean islands that have initiated various tourism projects over the years, “We are the last players in the Caribbean, so we have the opportunity to learn the mistakes from others. We’re not a mass tourism destination,” he explained.

Racquel Brown, chief executive officer of the St Kitts Tourism Authority, who was also in attendance, explained the island’s travel products are for discerning visitors seeking unique experiences. “Our selling point is unique experiences that cross all generations,” she said.

For example, Millennials can enjoy a short two hour train ride to learn about sugar cane production. The island’s other tourism attractions include a rain forest hike and a batik factory visit among various other activities. “We have a lot of repeat visitors who return because of the friendly Kittitian hospitality,” she further added.

Future developments

Over the next two years you can expect three new hotel openings:

The Park Hyatt St Kitts is scheduled to debut a condo hotel in June 2016 with the completion of phase one which will include a 134-room property. This is the luxury hotel brand’s first hotel in the Caribbean.

In early 2017 Embassy Suites by Hilton, the island’s first Hilton-branded property is scheduled to open. The 226-room condo hotel in Pelican Bay is a US$90-million development.

Also in 2017, Koi Resort and Residences, a mixed-use resort development, will be completed. The 298-room luxury property is located in stunning Half Moon Bay adjacent to the Royal St Kitts Golf Club.

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