Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 18, 2015 (SKNIS)—For the first time in the history of St. Kitts and Nevis’ tourism, the twin- island federation is expected to welcome its one millionth cruise tourist this month, disclosed Tourism Minister Honourable Lindsay Grant.
“In October of 2015….we will bring the one millionth passenger to the country. I must indicate to you that the cruise year goes from September of one year to October of the other year and so that in the last year—it ends in October of this year, and we forecast that the millionth visitor to the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis will arrive on some ship and we definitely have something to celebrate on that occasion,” Minister Grant said on the Team Unity Government’s radio program “Working for You” on Wednesday, October 14.
The tourism minister noted that cruise tourism brought thus far for the cruise year over 900,000 visitors to the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis. By next cruise season, he expects an additional 200,000 cruise visitors for the new cruise year, bringing the total to 1.2 million passengers. He hinted to the fact that two cruise ships visited Port Zante on October 14 bringing thousands of passengers that filled restaurants and establishments around the island that usually attract tourists, such as Spice Mill Restaurant in the Southeast Peninsula and the water sports outlets.
“Money is flowing through the country and we have to ensure that we preserve this industry for posterity and for the future generations in the country that is to come,” Grant said, stressing the importance of creating a sustainable tourism product.
Regarding stay-over tourism, the minister was keen to point out that the government would be focusing on this area as that sector of the industry faces several challenges.
“Cruise tourism generates about one million passengers per year. On the other hand, land- based (tourism) only accounts for about 110,000 visitors per year and so we have a lot, a lot of work to do in that area,” Minister Grant said. “My focus in my tenure, my first five years in the government would be to focus the attention on land- based tourism and to get that part of the industry as vibrant as the cruise tourism sector is at the moment.”