By Dana Niland, CJ Contributor
St. Kitts and Nevis has launched a new strategy aimed at growing the destination’s yachting sector.
The destination has unveiled a new Yachting Strategic and Implementation Plan for 2017-2022, which will guide efforts to diversify the economy and enhance the tourism sector, according to Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant.
“The local yachting sector is a niche market, which is ripe for investment and offers an avenue through which we can promote our federation and attract new business, a new generation of tourists who are looking for something new and somewhere different, people with disposable incomes and who are not shy about spending on the finer things of life,” he said.
Grant added that when the medium- to long- term benefits of the establishment of marinas such as Christophe Harbour, berthing facilities and boat yards are considered, they translate into economic spin-offs that pay dividends for local entrepreneurs and ancillary businesses.
“Considering our natural endowments, the government of St. Kitts and Nevis is equally confident that our nation is naturally positioned to take advantage of this niche market and has identified the yachting sector as a strategic priority area for development,” said the minister.
The potential for exposure of the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis is enormous,” he said.
“It is indeed a proud moment for me personally as a Kittitian and in my capacity as the Minister of Tourism,” he continued, adding that all stakeholders from the public and private sector invested their time, energy and effort, and generously shared their expertise to reach to this milestone. “I’m equally elated for the strides that we have made over the last two to three years,” said the minister.
Grant said the Caribbean yachting ground “continues to be the second most important in the world after the Mediterranean,” and that St.Kitts and Nevis is strategically located in the center of the “primary yacht cruising grounds” in the Eastern Caribbean which include Antigua, St Martin and St Barth.
“Our proximity to these nearby locations offers us the opportunity to explore strategic alliances to market a range of islands as a single product very much like the cruise lines do,” he said. “After all the reports and observations from the yachting community, it is already becoming clear that St Kitts and Nevis is dressed to impress and is moving forward.”