Cathy A. Preece / Candice Adams-Kimmel
International Tournaments and Aggressive Outreach Herald the Debut of New Courses
Pictured: Photo at left – Carlos Salazar, General Manager of Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill (at left) with Minister of Tourism & International Transport, Trade, Industry, Commerce & Consumer Affairs Senator Ricky Skerritt (at right) and the winners (left to right) of the competition held at the Irie Fields golf course at Kittitian Hill following the St. Kitts Open Mrs. Debbie Widdowson (third place winner) Charles “Rock” Blake (first place winner) and OJ Maynard (second place winner). Photo at right (left to right) – Peter Walton, CEO of IAGTO (the International Association of Golf Tour Operators) with Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; Abdullah Skerritt, Tourism Officer for the St. Kitts Tourism Authority; and Tom Jaronski, President of The Golf Connection LLC at the IAGTO North America Golf Tourism Convention.
Basseterre, St. Kitts – This past weekend from June 6-8, 2014, approximately 120 golfers from the U.S., Canada and throughout the Caribbean teed off in the 33rd Johnnie Walker St. Kitts Open, a key tournament in establishing St. Kitts as a premier destination for golf travelers from across the globe.
“Golf tourism is a key niche market that St. Kitts has targeted for growth,” said Senator Ricky Skerritt, Minister of Tourism & International Transport, Trade, Industry, Commerce & Consumer Affairs. “This longstanding island tournament continues to help us attract visitors from the golfing community in our ramp-up to build awareness for our golf product as we prepare for the arrival of two additional courses starting in 2015.”
The St. Kitts Open is a two day, 36-hole individual stroke play tournament with prizes awarded for both gross and net champions. Winners of lowest net and lowest gross were Mike Chayer and Adrian Norford, respectively, both from St. Kitts & Nevis. Male golfers competed in one of four flights including Championship, Men’s, Senior, Super Senior, while women competed in their own flight. Competition was friendly yet fierce between all players, who celebrated at the closing ceremony for the event on Sunday evening. The following day, long-drive, chipping and putting competitions were held to introduce visiting and local golfers to the new Irie Fields golf course at Kittitian Hill. The scores from each competition were compiled into an overall score, from which the first, second and third place winners were selected and an enjoyable time was had by all.
The St. Kitts Open is hosted by the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, which was most recently recognized by USA Today in an article appearing on May 31, 2014 as one of eleven Fantastic Father’s Day Gifts in the Caribbean. It was also the first Caribbean golf course to earn Audubon Certification for its environmental practices and is a natural haven for both native and migratory birds. In addition to theRoyal St. Kitts Golf Club and, on Nevis, the Robert Trent Jones II course at Four Seasons Resort Nevis Golf Club, the twin-island federation will soon be home to the hillside Irie Fields championship course designed by Ian Woosnam at Kittitian Hill debuting in Winter 2014/Spring 2015 and a Tom Fazio championship course at Christophe Harbour on St. Kitts’ southeast peninsula scheduled to open in Winter 2016/Spring 2017, which together create a collection of championship courses unmatched in a destination of St. Kitts and Nevis’ size.
Another premier event showcasing the destination’s golf product is the St. Kitts and Nevis Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am. Played annually in February, the Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am is a five-day team tournament in which a PGA Club Professional and three amateurs pair up to compete against other teams from golf clubs across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. The tournament will be played February 17-21, 2015 The St. Kitts-Nevis Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am is the only golf event of its kind that is hosted simultaneously by two Caribbean islands featuring play on two world-class golf courses. For more details and to enter online, visit www.stkittsproam.com.
Actively pursuing the golf market, representatives of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority are currently showcasing St. Kitts and Nevis at the 6th IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) North America Golf Tourism Convention, taking place in Charleston, South Carolina from June 8-11, 2014. Over 100 golf tour operators selling North America attend the Convention, which is widely considered to be an essential event for global golf travel marketers. The Convention is open only to golf destinations, golf clubs, hotels, ground handlers and other golf tourism suppliers in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. IAGTO is the global trade organization for the golf tourism industry, with membership comprised of 2260 accredited golf tour operators controlling an estimated 85% of golf holiday packages sold worldwide, golf resorts, hotels, golf courses, receptive operators, airlines, tourist boards, approved media and business partners in 99 countries including, at its core, 553 specialist golf tour operators in 62 countries.
About St. Kitts
Currently, the destination is ranked #4 on a list of the 10 Best Islands in the World and #2 on a list of the 16 Best Caribbean Vacations by US News & World Report. In 2012, St. Kitts was named one of“5 Caribbean Islands to Discover Now” by MSNBC. It 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 listed as one of “10 Great Places To Explore The World’s Best-Kept Secrets” byUSA Today. St. Kitts was also noted as 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.
For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority toll free from the US at 1-800-582-6208 or from Canada 1-888-395-4887, e-mail email@example.com, visitwww.stkittstourism.kn, or connect on Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube.