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Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 29, 2021 (SKNIS): Chief Executive Officer of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Raquel Brown, says vaccination is our only hope as the Federation looks forward to opening up the borders.

She added, “We are at this time in the global space adjusting to still so much and learning so much about the pandemic.”

Ms. Brown said, “The Prime Minister just made an announcement as it relates to vaccinated travellers and the reduction of quarantine and so we know that there would be a lot of questions put towards the Chief Medical Officer, Dr., and also the Federal COVID-19 Task Force as to how we would proceed.”.

“However, we have to realise that still we are in a pandemic and it doesn’t mean that we get to proceed without taking caution. If we do not take every step to mitigate what is happening, we can end up like Anguilla and there are many other countries within the Caribbean that are known tourism destinations that still have community spread,” she stated.

“So for us in the Tourism industry for both the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, we are really pleading with our Tourism stakeholders to understand that the only way for everyone to benefit from tourism and have the impact of the trickle-down effect that it does provide for even the mechanic who used to repair busses for taxi operators that no longer is doing that,” Ms. Brown added.

“We cannot turn to some point in time what 2019 was where we ended a million cruise ship passengers and we had over a hundred and thirty thousand stayover visitors,” she said.

“For us to go back to those days of 2019, we have to look to an answer and an answer that we have only available is a vaccination that would allow tourists to come here, enjoy themselves to reduce the risk of our nationals, and our residents from exposing themselves to higher risk and also themselves being at risk,” she added.

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