Good lift from Canada for this coming winter, says St. Kitts Tourism Authority
Mazin Elbushra, Director, Network Planning – North America, Air Canada; Vlad Cojocarasu, Network Planning and Scheduling Manager, Air Canada; Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, CEO, St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Kelly McConville, Senior Manager, Routes Marketing, Air Canada; Melnecia Marshall, Deputy CEO, St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Candice Kimmel, Airlift Consultant, St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Rui Freire, Pricing Manager, Air Canada; and Chris Kanatselis, Manager, Revenue Optimization, Air Canada

Good lift from Canada for this coming winter, says St. Kitts Tourism Authority

TORONTO — St. Kitts is ready to welcome more Canadians this year.

Thanks to strong and consistent load factors in the 2022-2023 winter season, St. Kitts got a 35% capacity upgrade from Air Canada, with weekly A321 service to the destination.

Not only that, but Air Canada recently showcased its plans for further increasing sun destination services this coming winter. The carrier’s seasonal direct service will return to St. Kitts in early November 2023 and run through the end of April 2024 with a convenient 9:30 a.m. departure time out of Toronto.

A St. Kitts Tourism Authority delegation including Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, visited Montreal last week to meet with Air Canada. Forward bookings for the season are already trending ahead of last year.

St. Kitts has been top-of-mind with travellers thanks to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s ‘Venture Deeper’ brand campaign, which launched in September 2022. The campaign introduced elements of introspective self-discovery and purpose-driven travel via documentary-style imagery and authentic story telling. Thompson says the destination has been gaining traction with modern travellers looking for more meaningful experiences.

“This year we inspired travellers to dive into our culture, history and beauty in a way that really resonated with those seeking a more authentic, soul-stirring getaway,” said Thompson. “And St. Kitts is now enjoying this incredible momentum of enhanced airlift, industry accolades and record media coverage. There’s a lot of buzz about the destination.”

Thompson also noted that at Virtuoso’s recent annual Symposium in Montreal, the luxury travel network revealed that an analysis of its Canadian client bookings showed St. Kitts trending as one of its ‘top outbound destinations’. The destination has earned accolades this year including the ‘2023 Caribbean Destination of the Year’ according to Caribbean Journal. St. Kitts was also recently awarded ‘Best Caribbean Hiking Destination’ (Caribbean Journal’s Travelers’ Choice Awards 2022) and named the ‘Caribbean’s Leading Dive Destination’ at the 29th World Travel Awards. St. Kitts has also been featured in Canadian media outlets this year.

“While it is tempting to rest on our laurels, now is the time to ramp up our efforts even further,” said Thompson. “And we are delighted to unveil a new strategic partnership in Canada that in the coming months will create even more exposure for the island and help us reach new audiences. Stayed tuned on that news to come.

2023 has been a busy year for St. Kitts as it added regional connectivity with a new InterCaribbean Airways Service that connects it to a number of neighbouring islands. The destination also launched a one-of-a-kind rum experience to add to its tourism offerings. The Kittitian RumMaster program, which offers travellers an immersive rum experience with the chance to earn a certificate (and social media friendly badge) upon completion, is popular with foodies and rum connoisseurs. There’s also a new 28-page Savour St. Kitts Culinary Guide, inspirational Kittitian Cocktail Guide and a pocket-sized Restaurant Guide, are new tools that can be utilized by agents and consumers to learn more about the vibrant culinary scene.

St. Kitts also has a full roster of events planned during its “Summer of Fun” promotion running to Sept. 3, including the 25th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival (June 22-24), St. Kitts and Nevis Restaurant Week (July 13-23) and the Caribbean Premier League Cricket 2023 (Aug. 23-27).

Says Thompson: “We are celebrating a new era of travel to St. Kitts with a fresh brand identity that has allowed us to diversify our offerings and show Canadians how adventurous they can be here. But we are also more competitive than we have ever been and as such, are being noticed by consumers, partners and the media. The 35 per cent increase in capacity from Air Canada is a reflection of hard work and a dedicated focus on innovation. We fully expect St. Kitts to continue this upward trajectory and look forward to welcoming a record number of Canadians to our shores.”

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