St. Kitts – Nevis PM Asks Locals To Embrace Tourism

Basseterre, Saint Kitts – Nevis
January 17, 2008 (CUOPM)

With an annual increase in visitor arrivals to St. Kitts and Nevis and more resorts either under construction or being planned, another passionate call has been made for nationals to get involved in the provision of services in the industry.

That call has come from St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, when he appeared as a guest on VON Radio’s “Let’s Talk” Programme recently.

Dr. Douglas said 2007 was a “very blessed year, because the economy has been transitioning out of sugar agriculture and it is moving very confidently into tourism. Over the past year, we had more visitors coming to our shores than ever before.”

He noted that it is projected that some 400,000 cruise ship passengers will disembark at Port Zante, “bringing untold opportunities to our taxi drivers, the local entrepreneurs who provide goods and services to our hotels and restaurants, and, of course, they bring revenue to the government treasury as well as money into their households so that their families can live better lives.”

Prime Minister Douglas said the objective of his governing St. Kitts – Nevis Labour Government “is to ensure that the people of St. Kitts & Nevis see tourism not simply as visitors coming to our shores, but as business opportunities for local people.”

“I want our people to be constantly thinking of ways in which they can make money as a result of so many people coming here to St. Kitts and Nevis.  If they cannot make money directly from the visitors, then they should focus on providing goods and services to those companies that do have direct contact with the tourists.  Our people must not be shy”¦..they must not be timid”¦..they must let their imaginations and their own energies lead them into the new areas of economic opportunities that tourism offers.  And my government stands ready and will continue to assist,” said Prime Minister Douglas, who is also the Minister of Tourism.

Dr. Douglas said the Marriott, the largest hotel on St. Kitts and the Four Season on Nevis, report excellent occupancy rates over the last year and in particular over the last season.

“In fact, in St, Kitts, the Marriott is reporting that their time-share units are almost sold out, some two-years ahead of projections, and that they are now 95% occupancy.  Over the next year, our projections tell us that some 400,000 cruise ship passengers will disembark at Port Zante,” he said.

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