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Stakeholders agree that Brimstone Hill robbery crisis communication handled well

 

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Most tourism stakeholders in a crisis communication workshop seem to agree that the Brimstone Hill incident two years ago where 17 tourists on a tour bus to Brimstone Hill were robbed, was handled well. The crisis communication workshop recently held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort facilitated by Adams International, PR firm for St. Kitts in North America, was designed to review the basic tenets of crisis communication and the remind stakeholders of the purpose of crisis communication. President of Adams International Candace Kimmel explains that when an incident occurs that can affect the island’s tourism image, as was the case with the Brimstone incident in 2010, the main person to communicate with the media should be the officials dealing directly with the situation and not tourism officials. “There is only gonna be one spokesperson and that spokesperson is also appointed at the time the crisis breaks. And I guarantee you that that spokesperson is not going to be from tourism and that sometimes can be unpopular,” Ms. Kimmel said.

She referred to the Brimstone Hill incident where the minister of tourism was prevented from speaking to the public on the issue, noting that there is no reason for the minister speaking on the issue while the police, who are investigating the incident, are speaking to the media. “Tourism can’t investigate a crime, tourism can’t collect evidence, tourism shouldn’t even be contaminating a crime scene so anything tourism knows about a crime scene, they are getting second hand,” Ms. Kimmel added.

Crisis communications case studies were discussed at the workshop including the Brimstone Hill incident, with stakeholders sharing their views on the incident. There were also concerns raised about media coverage being sensational on coverage of incidents that can have a negative impact on tourism.

Listen excerpts from the crisis communication workshop from stakeholders 

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