Tourism Contributes Big Time To Economy
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 16, 2009
The Minister of State for Tourism, Senator Ricky Skerrit today announced that the National Tourism Pride Campaign launched on June 5th, 2009 is attracting a ground swell of positive reviews and sentiments of gratitude over the “phenomenal achievements” of tourism, the country’s primary economic growth engine.
The campaign features country-wide signage highlighting the leadership role of the tourism sector and its profound impact on national development under the theme “It’s Working”.
Senator Skerrit says the public response so far “through phone calls, text messages and emails, has been overwhelming.
“Clearly, given the severe beating our tourism brand took over the past year from the campaign of the People’s Action Movement to shame the name of St. Kitts in the international community for cheap political gain, this National Tourism Pride Campaign is precisely what the country needed in this period of significant global exposure.”
The Minister stated that “With so much to be proud about, we felt it was critical to use the timing of our hosting of Petro Caribe Summit, the International Conference on Crime, the 13th anniversary of the St Kitts Music Festival and the Bangladesh Cricket Series to remind the country how far we have come and how many good things are happening around us”
Politically motivated detractors of the St. Kitts & Nevis government have recently handed out negative propaganda leaflets on the streets of New York City and are now advocating shutting down the St. Kitts Music Festival this year with no regard for the negative implications such drastic action could have on visitor arrivals.
Skerritt said these detractors, who seem to understand nothing but their political agenda, are now crying foul on the National Pride Campaign as an abuse of public funds. Skerritt said he wanted to place it on record that there has been absolutely no such abuse. He said the treasury was not required to spend one cent of tax payers’ money on this critical campaign.
“In fact, this campaign is being funded by the good graces of several tourism stakeholders and patriots angered by PAM’s disgraceful anti-St Kitts behaviour, and who want the world to know that Tourism in St Kitts is working.”
Senator Skerritt said he is pleased that the National Tourism Pride campaign has rekindled a spirit of appreciation across the country which is setting aside the negative propaganda and misinformation which typically cloud the truth about how well tourism is leading this post colonial economy out of its earlier dependence on sugar.
“After just four years since the closure of the sugar industry, this tourism pride campaign is celebrating our emerging tourism success story and the increasing number of socio-economic advancement opportunities it is generating. More and more, we are seeing common understanding and widespread national appreciation of the extent of our tourism gains. And I am proud to let the world know how happy we are with our exemplary record of achievements”, the Tourism Minister said.