“We are extremely pleased to launch this program, which is an important step in the ongoing development of St. Kitts’ relationships with the travel trade industry,” said Mrs. Rosecita Jeffers, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. “Travel agents are often the first people from whom a potential visitor learns about St. Kitts, so having trained specialists who are highly knowledgeable about our island benefits everyone - the client, the agent and the destination.”
Travel agents who complete the program, or “graduate,” will be more knowledgeable about the destination, therefore they will be better able to sell it to their clients and make successful bookings. Plus, graduating agents will enjoy exclusive benefits including:
· Additional incentives such as free stays or cash back for bookings made;
· Destination Specialist special phone access;
· Exclusive E-mail–First to learn about specials;
· Preferred Agent listing on the St. Kitts website;
· A VIP Fam Trip;
· Customer referrals;
· Marketing Support;
· and 2 CEU's from The Travel Institute (TTI) (USA) or 1 credit from Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors (CITC).
An Agent Locator function on the St. Kitts website helps potential clients to find a Destination Specialist in their immediate area. The client will also receive an upgrade (subject to availability) at their hotel of choice with a special gift simply for booking via a Destination Specialist.
Additional components of the St. Kitts Destination Specialist program, such as an official rewards program and productivity measurement, are currently being developed and will soon be introduced. St. Kitts has built a dedicated online training program for the travel professional community through Travel Agent University, http://www.tauniv.com. Travel Agent University holds a user database of over 60,000 travel agent registrants who are active in their field.
St. Kitts was named one of the “Top 12 Spots that should be on your list for 2012” by Caribbean Travel + Life magazine and the island’s Brimstone Hill Fortress was named one of “10 Great Places To Explore The World's Best-Kept Secrets” by USA Today. As of summer 2011, the destination also ranks #1 on a list of the 16 Best Caribbean Vacations by US News & World Report. Last year, St. Kitts was named a top destination for 2011 by both AOL Travel and British Airways. Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches. Accommodations range from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels and resorts.