Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 21, 2008 (CUOPM)
The governing St. Kitts – Nevis Labour Party Administration’s thrust to boost tourism for stakeholders paid dividends with the inauguration of the weekly flight by Delta Airlines from the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta to the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts.
Passengers on the arrival flight were greeted by a Welcome Party headed by Minister of State for Tourism, Hon. Richard Skerritt; the pulsating sounds of the Cayon High School Steel Band, Mock Jumbies from Sandy Point, government officials and represntatives from the various sectors of the tourism industry.
Prime Minister Douglas said that the new Delta flight has been made possible because of “my own government’s vision and ongoing investment in the infrastructure for tourism development here in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
“It is possible because of the partnership that we have struck between Delta Airlines and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority of the Ministry of Tourism in the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, who was on board when the flight touched down just after 3 pm.
“The weekly flight will utilise Delta’s hub at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which is the largest connecting airline hub in the world and the busiest and highly trafficked airport throughout the United States,” said Prime Minister Douglas during a ceremony inside the VIP Lounge attended by Delta Airlines officials and tourism officials.
He said with the operation of the weekly Delta flight out of Atlanta, Georgia, nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean disapora and others, who are living in the Atlanta area, can travel to St. Kitts and Nevis non-stop.
Dr. Douglas said during a reception at the home of Denise and Larry Quinland on Friday night in Atlanta, nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis came together and showed their appreciation for the weekly flight.
“We used the opportunity at that reception to launch and install the Board of the new St. Kitts and Nevis Association of Atlanta (SKANAA) where Kittitians and Nevisians are pledging themselves to work more closely with each other to ensure that our nationals who come to that area and those who want to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis can utilise the group as a resource for guidance and assistance,” said Dr. Douglas.
The St. Kitts and Nevis leader said the weekly Delta flight is very important because it will give travelers from around the world, particularly from the feeder market in the north-western and mid-western United States can get to the St. Kitts and Nevis destination easily and quickly than before.
“This means that more visitors will be able to experience our culture. More visitors will experience the unparallel and scenic natural beauty of our nation. More visitors will also be able to experience the genuine warmth and hospitality of our proud Kittitian and Nevisian people and more visitors will be able to experience the very rich culture and heritage and traditions that define the people of this Federation,” said Dr. Douglas, who added that St. Kitts and Nevis is “more ready today to welcome visitors to our shores than ever before.”
He said the Labour Government has been working diligently to refine and perfect the tourism product as a goal of enhancing its appeal to the type of traveler who will help boost the economy by spending generously at hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and other tourism facilities thereby bringing the maximum benefit to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“The traveler I speak about is one who is being targeted as a well-traveled person and one who is savvy with his higher than average income. This is the type of traveler who flies with Delta Airlines,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who added that the Ministry of Tourism has been conducting joint promotions of the flight in New York and Atlanta.
He said an event at Delta’s Sky 360 degrees lounge in New York brought authentic Kittitian culture to the media, travel agents and the general public.
Dr. Douglas disclosed that the Tourism Authority will continue to strengthen its partnership with Delta over the coming months to ensure this flight is successful.
He said the introduction of the weekly Delta flight from Atlanta to St.
Kitts coincides with several major events in the twin-island federation as the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government continues its thrust to transform the national economy from sugar agriculture to services including the tourism and hospitality sector.
Dr. Douglas stated that within the context of creating St. Kitts and Nevis as a high-end tourism destination within the global travel market, his Government has been successful in attracting the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, Oceanedge, the Marriott Vacation Homes International, the Christophe Harbour Development by the Mandarin-Oriental and Auberge Resort Group, American Airlines, US Airways, Excel Airways “in these exciting times in the development of tourism.”