In a recent interview with international Tourism and Travel Publication Travel Mole Grant spoke about his planned new drive for the Tourism industry on the islands.
Grant spoke about the popular Citizenship by Investment programme and how it has and will impact the development of the tourist industry in St.Kitts-Nevis . He said “On an island that suffers from a shortage of hotel beds we cannot allow investors to buy condominiums that lay empty for the majority of the time. This is not right and in the future this is one change we will put in place as we ensure that citizenship money assists projects that will result in more bed spaces for the island.” In recent years, St Kitts has benefited from a ‘citizenship’ programme, whereby individuals can make a minimum US$400,000 investment in the island and in return become a citizen. This, however, will come under closer scrutiny by the new Team UNITY government.
The new Tourism Minister also spoke about Sports Tourism and specifically referenced the recently staged CARIFTA Games which were held at the newlynamed Kim Collins Stadium on St.Kitts.
Hon. Grant told Travel Mole “Sport will be a key area of development and promotion for tourism officials. St Kitts has just hosted a major track and field event, the 44th CARIFTA games, at the newly-named Kim Collins arena, named after the island’s most famous and successful athlete. Athletes from all over the region came to compete in the four-day meet. Such was the prestige of the event that Lord Coe and Sergei Bubka were present, jockeying for IAAF presidential votes where the Caribbean delegation has such a large share. At the same time the England cricket team came to town to play four days of friendly cricket prior to the test series against the West Indies. The result of these two events, plus the annual local inter island swim, meant that very few if any beds were left lying empty on the island.”
This no doubt is something that Grant and the new Administration of St.Kitts-Nevis will want to continue and the Tourism Minister has indicated that his Ministry will vigouroulsy pursue Sports Tourism and the hosting of teams and similar events going forward.
Heritage or Heritage Tourism in St Kitts – Nevis will also be a strong focus for marketing under the new Team UNITY government. The site of the original British landing in the region over 400 years ago, evidence of this remains today. Once called the capital of the Caribbean, St Kitts was fought for at various times between the French and the British resulting in a mix of place names, customs and food.
“I am not sure that our visitors know of our fascinating past and the influence we had over the rest of the region. Brimstone Hill, being a UNESCO site, is just one of many examples of our heritage and we intend to emphasise this more and more in our marketing,” Grant declared.
With the Opening of the Val kempadoo owned Totally Green Kittitian Hill Belle mont Farm Resort gives the government and the country the opportunity to aggressively pursue that niche market and tourism development .
With its 84 guesthouses and 7 four-bedroom farmhouses, Kempadoo’s hotel is trying to make hospitality terms such as “sustainability”, “eco-friendly” and “social responsibility” actually mean something to the local economy. Belle Mont Farm, which opened in December last year, is part of a 400-acre Kempadoo project situated on organic farmland, known as Kittitian Hill. “This venture is about redefining sustainability and social justice in the Caribbean tourism industry,” says Kempadoo, who worked as an organic farmer in his youth.
With Belle Mont Farm, Kempadoo expects to make St Kitts, which is lacking in high-end hotels (although the Park Hyatt opens shortly, at Christophe Harbour), a new destination for the Gulfstream set.
Grant has signficiantly and positively impacted the tourism industry after just two months as the Minister of Tourism on St.Kitts-Nevis. Since his appointment he had been able to make announcements regarding additional cruise calls which will result in 2016 being the busiest year for the islands Cruise Tourism.