by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – “We are starting the winter season on a very positive note,” says Raquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (SKTA), during the November 4 broadcast of Island Tea hosted by Kevon Hanley, Jade Johnson and Azem Bailey.
“Every day that we have a successful arrival by air or successful arrival by a cruise ship, it makes it better for the destination,” said Brown.
The CEO made those remarks in relation to the return of multiple ships docked, Aida Luna at Port Zante and Seabourn Odyssey at South Friar’s Bay, for the first time since the halt to the industry in 2020.
While the winter season is starting on a positive note, the CEO reminded the public to manage their expectations. Ships are coming at reduced capacity, between 40 – 60 percent, as the sector is still testing the waters as an outbreak onboard a vessel could cripple the industry again.
“It is not going to be what it used to be. We are working through the process, and we will define it. But I think people need to understand that what we were free to do… those things are going to change. We’re going to have to have the standards that help us not to create a situation for St. Kitts where we have COVID-19, we’re in a pandemic; we must not be seen as a destination that is not adhering to protecting our people first and then our visitors.”
With that in mind, tourism stakeholders can look forward to more activity in the cruise sector, including more days with multiple cruise ships docked, the return of oasis class vessels and a three-ship day.
“We’re going to see more ships come in; on the 18th, I believe it is, we’re going to have the return of our first Oasis-class ship, which is the Allure of the Seas, and in December, MSC has their version of the oasis class ship, its called the Sea Dream. We’re going to see those ships return.”
Brown shared that there are currently 113 taxi and tour operators in the rotation operating at a reduced capacity to make sure as many stakeholders benefit as possible.