by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues as the World Health Organisation has not yet declared the end of the spread of the virus.
According to the global health body says there is no time for COVID-19 complacency and that key countries responsible for tracking global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments with vaccination rates in low-income countries stand at 19 percent, compared to almost 75 percent in high-income countries.
In spite of these facts, the main factor for the spread of the virus, the movement of people, has made an impactful return.
According to the Unted Nations (UN), international tourist arrivals at the start of 2022 were double the level recorded in 2021 with some regions having arrivals already at, or above, pre-pandemic levels.
On the back of this global recovery countries around the world celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27 under the theme “Rethinking Tourism”.
On World Tourism Day the UN was countries to shift their approach to towards tourism as the sector has been recognized as a crucial pillar for development and sustainability through education and jobs.
The Federation’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Marsha Henderson in her address on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2022 spoke of the recognition and appreciation the sector received as an economic driver when it was shuttered as a result the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Tourism is a major driver of economic growth, while creating jobs and opportunities with the market revenue in travel and tourism projected to reach US$716 billion. In fact, tourism employs one in every ten people on earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions. Tourism also plays a distinctive role in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage, which we see as the differentiating factor for our sister islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition, we are aiming to capitalize on trends within the industry, specifically through a new found focus on eco-tourism and sustainability across our Our Tourism Sector.”
In order to remain competitive in the tourism market understanding and adapting to the trends travellers display is necessary. The Minister outline some aspects of the travel experience already being shown by tourists.
“We are seeing eco-tourism, agri-tourism and sustainability as key points of interest from travelers. The Federation has already been working to create sustainable programs and councils including the Heart of St. Kitts Sustainability Charter, The St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council Sustainable Navis and the St. Kitts Eco Park. Our Federation is in a unique position to promote this type of tourism as the islands themselves house protected biodiversity and ecosystem including the Central Reserve Rain forest in St. Kitts.”
Minister Henderson said the 2022-2023 winter season promises to be fruitful for the Federation after the influx of cruise and stayover passengers in the summer months.
Watch the Minister of Toursm’s full address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AMTRCvf_fs.