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St. Kitts Announces New Return Stay Incentive Program for Cruise Passengers

The Hon. G. A. Dwyer Astaphan, Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Consumer Affairs for St. Kitts, unveiled a new monolith at the island's cruise port terminal to commemorate and promote the recently instituted coin-based return stay incentive program called "Freestay Caribbean."

The monolith, which stands at an eye-catching 8-feet tall, is located just inside the exit from the Port Zante cruise terminal. As cruise passengers depart the terminal to explore the island, they are greeted by a message welcoming them to St. Kitts and when they return to the terminal, the other side of the monolith invites them to come back and use the Freestay Coin. The specially-designed coin, which resembles an old doubloon, entitles the bearer to discounts at various retail outlets, hotels, restaurantsand attractions.

"St. Kitts is proud to have taken a leadership role in creating and participating in the Freestay Caribbean Coin Program, and the new monolith is a symbol of our dedication to making it work,"said Minister Astaphan. "This program has the potential to greatly influence our efforts to encourage cruise passengers to return as stayover visitors and provides a benefit for both the tourists and the destination alike."

The Freestay Coin is distributed to cruise passengers at various island attractions as well as through select tour operators and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. The front of the coin displays the Circus, a well-known landmark in St. Kitts' capital city, while the flip side lists a toll free phone number and website from which coin recipients can get specific information about discounts provided through the coin promotion.

While a total of eight Caribbean islands are participating in the Freestay Caribbean Coin Program, each island has its own uniquely designed coin. Coins may only be redeemed on their designated island and there is no expiration date for redemption. The program is a collaboration between the eight participating islands and Tropical Shipping, one of the largest containerized cargo carriers in the Caribbean region.

Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination's natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. Originally populated by native tribes, the island was colonized by the British in 1623 and now offers visitors a wide variety of vacation activities including hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island's sugar plantations, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress, the only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, gaming at St. Kitts' only casino or simply relaxing on one of the island's black or golden sand beaches. Guests can select from accommodations ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts. St. Kitts is served from the U.S. by US Airways non-stop from Philadelphia and Charlotte and by American Airlines/American Eagle via San Juan as well as by Windward Island Airways (WinnAir), LIAT, Caribbean Star and Caribbean Sun via connections over St. Maarten, Antigua and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

For more information about St. Kitts, please contact the St. Kitts Tourism Authority at 1-800-582-6208, e-mail info@stkitts-tourism.kn or visit the website at www.stkitts-tourism.com.

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