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Barbados tours veteran to spearhead St. James group's cruise expansion

Nicki King - St. James group's philosophy is to offer 'tours with a difference' and 'excellent customer service' (Photo: Anne Kalosh)
Barbados tours veteran Nicki King is now spearheading the expansion of cruise operations for St. James Travel & Tours as director of operations-ground handling and cruise industry.

'Our team at St. James Travel & Tours is committed to excellence in customer service and we are excited to be able to expand our portfolio to offer additional services to the cruise industry,' ceo Helen C. Schur Parris said.

'Nicki will not only concentrate on ensuring smooth operations in all of our existing markets but will also work on developing high-end turnaround and shore excursions programs for the cruise lines visiting Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts & Nevis and Grenada,' she added.

For her part, King told Seatrade Cruise News the St. James Travel & Tours philosophy is to offer 'tours with a difference, new and exciting programs with excellent customer service. This has been the trademark of our company for a long time,' she said, 'and the intention is to carry this over to the new cruise industry business as well.'

King previously was with Goddards Shipping & Tours since 1997, most recently as operations manager-tourism services, in charge of the attractions portfolio, Barbados Concorde Experience and Cockspur Beach Club, along with the entire tours department, which included shore excursions, wedding planning, MICE market services, tours and transfers and the transport division.

Earlier work at Goddards included business development manager and opening manager for the Barbados Concorde Experience, which quickly became one of the highest rated places of interest in Barbados.

From 2013 to 2015, King chaired the direct tourism services arm of the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association and served on the BHTA board.

A native of Switzerland with a diploma in hotel management, King has made her home in Barbados since 1995, initially working as a multilingual tour guide—she speaks German, English, French, Italian and Spanish—and hotel representative with St. James Travel & Tours.

Before that she worked as a purser aboard several major cruise ships.

Established for 35 years, St. James Travel & Tours recently was appointed as the on-site agent for luxury travel giant Virtuoso.

In addition to Barbados the company has offices in Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis and Florida.