BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Friday 20th November 2020)- Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports Lindsay Grant says hotel room listing for international visitors is expected to increase with the reopening of more resorts in St.Kitts-Nevis.
“Our inventory will increase on November 21 when the Marriott Beach Vacation Club opens with 88 rooms, on December 4 when Koi Resort opens with 102 rooms and on December 15 when the Marriott Resort opens with 75 rooms. With an additional 30 rooms in villas, condos and apartments we will go into peak season with a total projected room stock of 693 rooms approved for international visitors.”
He made the disclosure during a presentation in the National Assembly held on Tuesday 17th November 2020.
According to him, the Federation’s current hotel room inventory for international travelers is comprised of 188 rooms at the Four Seasons, 40 rooms at Paradise Beach, 114 rooms at the Park Hyatt and 56 rooms at the Royal St Kitts.
Grant spoke about the collaboration with airline partners to establish our airlift schedule for November, including American Airlines service from Miami, Seaborne service from San Juan and starting this past Saturday, Winair service from St. Maarten.
He said for the month of November, all airlines will operate weekly Saturday service.
Grant continued: “Additionally, starting on November 21, American Airlines will add Wednesday and Sunday rotations to accommodate those traveling for US Thanksgiving. While British Airways was previously scheduled to start November 7th, their service was temporarily suspended due to the UK one-month national lockdown.”
He added: “Our first commercial flights landed on November 7 disembarking a total of 100 passengers arriving on American Airlines from Miami and Seaborne from San Juan. The passengers were proficiently processed through RLB International Airport and transported to their accommodations using 29 Travel Approved Taxi Operators. These operators averaged two jobs each and earned fares ranging from 16 USD to 28 USD.”
Grant said visitors were lodged at six (6) different accommodations with international visitors (Non-Nationals/Non-Residents) staying at the Four Seasons Resort, Park Hyatt and Royal St. Kitts Hotel while nationals and residents stayed at Ocean Terrace Inn, Oualie Beach Resort, Potworks and the Royal St. Kitts Hotel which also received 39 students.
The Tourism Minister pointed to the awareness of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic including key markets for St.Kitts-Nevis.
“Mr. Speaker, as we approach what would be our normal peak season travel, we must take note that the second wave of the pandemic on the rise in many countries around the world, including in our key source markets, and is impacting travel intent and behavior.”
He remarked that the US surpassed its own records of new cases and deaths last week and the fall surge of the coronavirus continues to run rampant across a great part of the country.
“Public health officials are cautioning against large family gatherings over the holidays, as Americans plan to celebrate with only family members living in the household or by traveling to ‘get away’ from it all.”
The Ports Minister highlighted that airlines are adding domestic and Caribbean capacity to handle the increased holiday demand, a demand we can see reflected in American’s inbound loads from Miami.
“Upcoming load factors into St. Kitts are: 77% on Nov. 21; 58% on Nov. 22; 49% on Nov. 25; 50% Nov. 28 and 60% outbound from St. Kitts to Miami on Nov. 29. Arriving December flights on the 5th and the 12th are 76% and 70 % respectively. We are told by the airlines that they see much shorter booking lead times as travelers wait until the last minute to make decisions, with some last-minute cancellations as well,” he expressed.
Granted went on to say: “Mr. Speaker, in the UK, a one-month national lockdown aimed at curbing the rapid spread of the virus was put in place on Thursday November 5 and is scheduled to be lifted December 2, as long as the numbers of cases and rapid spread decreases. The government has asked people to stay at home and limit their interactions with others outside their pandemic bubble. With the projected short-term nature of the lockdown, British Airways will have their Winter Sun Campaign, which St. Kitts and Nevis is a part of the market from November 9 – November 23, 2020.”
“This is to drive awareness and bookings for the Federation from April 2021 to December 2021. As a partner destination, St. Kitts and Nevis will be allowed a lead in price for a round-trip air travel and 7 nights’ accommodation which will be featured in customized creative on BA’s social media channels and in the press where a specific St. Kitts and Nevis call to action will be listed,” he told.