Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 15, 2020 (SKNIS): Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, stated at the April 14th Leadership Matters Virtual Town Hall Meeting that St. Kitts and Nevis is already preparing its tourism industry for when the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Minister Grant stated that the ministry is engaged to ensure that when the pandemic ends, the nation is able to be stronger in the marketplace in terms of tourism.
“While we focus on ensuring that we fight off the virus and get an end to it as quickly as possible, at the same time we prepare for what is to come,” he said. “So we have engaged stakeholders from time to time to ascertain necessaries in the interim while the medical team attacks this virus.”
The Minister of Tourism said that marketing initiatives have already been put in place to ensure that in the downtime there are inspirational videos along with posts on social media channels, which have been designated for this month and next month to ensure that going forward there is still a presence in the marketplace.
Minister Grant stated that his ministry is of the view that St. Kitts and Nevis will attract stay-over visitors first.
“So, we are engaging in that area to ensure that focus is placed on our database that we have at the moment, which is 70,000 plus in terms of stay-over visitors,” he said. “…We believe when we get out of this hopefully very shortly, St. Kitts and Nevis will be in a better position.”
The cruise industry, said Minister Grant, will take a bit longer to recover, but “we still have to ensure that this area is looked at.
“When one looks at the Cruise Line International Association Report just recently, it indicated that the no sail order was extended on April 09 for 100 days,” he said. “So, if one has to look at the cruise industry in particular 100 days on top of April 09, we are looking at somewhere in the region of July even for starters. Minister Grant stated that the nation is in a fluid situation, adding that “a decision made today may not necessarily be what pertains to tomorrow based upon the prevailing circumstances.”