St. Kitts Tourism Authority celebrates Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson

The St. Kitts Tourism Authority is celebrating its outgoing CEO, Ellison “Tommy” Thompson, noting that during his two-and-a-half-year’s in the role, he has made significant contributions to the tourism sector and has been instrumental in driving forward the destination’s pandemic recovery through successful strategic and creative tourism sales and marketing initiatives.

Ermelin Sebastian-Duggins, Chair of the Board of Directors, said: “The Board of Directors extends its profound appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Thompson for his strategic vision and unwavering commitment to advancing the tourism sector of St. Kitts.”

Sebastian-Duggins continued: “Thompson’s leadership has truly enhanced the recognition of St. Kitts as a premier Caribbean destination. The Tourism Authority looks forward to continuing Thompson’s legacy and driving the growth and development of the tourism industry. Because of his leadership, the future of tourism in St. Kitts is brighter than ever.”

As CEO, Thompson played an integral role in increasing airlift and accessibility for travellers. St. Kitts has seen significant growth in international and regional airlift and cruise arrivals, including the first year-round direct flight from the New York Metro Area with JetBlue, as well as increased lift with notable airlines including interCaribbean Airways, Caribbean Airways, Air Canada, Sunrise Airways, United Airlines, and American Airlines.

Additionally, St. Kitts is now one of the fastest-growing cruise destinations in the region. Most recently, Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas arrived on 30 January 2024 with a capacity of 7,600 passengers.

Thompson was also at the helm of the destination’s new brand campaign, “Venture Deeper,” which brought St. Kitts to the global stage by focusing on the island’s natural beauty, unparalleled hospitality, and cultural richness.

Under Thompson’s leadership, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority launched a distinctive, first-of-its-kind island experience titled ‘Kittitian RumMaster’ for travellers looking for an exciting and immersive activity on the island. Additionally, the Tourism Authority unveiled its “Summer of Fun” to further promoteyear-round visitation to the island. St. Kitts’ Summer of Fun includes the Annual St. Kitts Music Festival with acclaimed artists such as Mary J. Blige, St. Kitts & Nevis Restaurant Week, Nevis Mango Festival, Nevis Culturama, and Caribbean Premier League Cricket.

For his part, Thompson said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to bring St. Kitts out of COVID protocols to a full recovery. The island of St. Kitts is a special place with such a vibrant community, and I am confident that the future holds even greater success for this incredible destination.”

Kelly Fontenelle is the SKTA’s new CEO, taking on the new role on July 1. Fontenelle has 25 years of expertise in the tourism and event management sector with a distinct focus on Caribbean travel.

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