Love in the Air: St. Kitts Sets Focus on Romance
There’s a “wedding boom” happening and St. Kitts wants to be in on it.
The island’s Minister of Tourism Marsha Tamika Henderson, Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, CEO, and Melnecia Marshall, Deputy CEO from the St. Kitts Tourism Authority joined a group of travel advisors for a romance-themed event last night in Toronto. The event was hosted by Alison McGill, Canada’s foremost authority on the romance industry.
With romance considered one of the fastest-growing sectors coming out of the pandemic, the first-of-its-kind collaboration with McGill is a strategic move for the destination, helping it tap into her network and amplify the message that St. Kitts is tailor-made for romance.
“We are calling it the wedding boom in the industry and it’s going right until 2025 at least,” McGill tells TravelPulse Canada. “Any wedding vendor would probably tell you last year was the busiest, craziest year they ever had; a lot of them even burned out.
“There’s now a backup of people who wanted to have that wedding they couldn’t have in COVID, or they were having the second wedding because they had a micro wedding, then there’s also new people getting engaged. It’s created this whole sort of cluster that’s just being pushed along.
It’s a great time for the industry, because it’s very, very busy.”
Canada is a key market for St. Kitts tourism, which last year saw a 500% increase in visitors despite pandemic-related travel restrictions. Thompson says that’s because the destination offers authenticity, relaxation, and adventure for honeymooners.
“There’s authenticity in the destination, and I think honeymooners in particular can come and do a number of things,” says Thompson. “The destination is relatively new to tourism. It’s not over developed, it’s still in its natural state. We have the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.”
International lift has also increased, with Air Canada now flying direct twice a week and the island is served by US based airlines including year-round service from JetBlue.
The island is also seeing great inter-connectivity with other Caribbean destinations, something that was a hot topic at the CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization) annual summit in 2022. St. Kitts is positioned almost as a two-for-one with is sister island Nevis.
“We are consistently working on improving lifts and interconnectivity in the region,” Henderson tells TravelPulse Canada. “Nevis is just five minutes away, and then you have our other sister Caribbean islands such as Anguilla, Trinidad, St. Maarten, Antigua and Barbados for example, so for a couple who’s doing a destination wedding, they can also honeymoon on another island.”
St. Kitts is expecting about 12 inaugural calls this season, which Thompson says is extremely important to the local economy whose many entrepreneurs rely heavily on it.
“What’s significant is that even though we’re getting the same amount of calls, we’re getting ships with more capacity. They’re bigger ships and they’re higher end ships, so for us, it’s more quality than quantity. We are seeing the per person spend going up, so it’s going in the right direction,” adds Henderson.
Advisors should expect to see more webinars and training opportunities this coming year along with special booking offers and become a certified St. Kitts specialist by clicking here.
“In St. Kitts, we strongly encourage couples to get out there and take in all our island has on offer,” said CEO Thompson. “Whether you are limin’ with the locals – which is just our way of saying let’s kick back and relax together – or jumping into exciting adventures, like hiking to the summit of our dormant volcano Mt Liamuiga, or touring old sugar mill lands by ATV, St. Kitts is truly the best of both worlds. We are the perfect mix of thrilling adventures and soulful serenity, which is why couples find it so easy to unwind and reconnect here.”
“Canadians love St. Kitts and we love Canada back,” says Thompson. “We are continuing our investment in Canada, it’s a key market for us and we’re here for the long run.”