Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Despite the tremendous global challenges created by the COVID-19 Pandemic, St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy continues to rebound, said Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during the November 23 edition of Leadership Matters.
“We continue to experience continued progress in our economy. More people have found employment. The tourism sector hitherto the most severely hit of all sectors is regaining its strength and buoyancy,” said Prime Minister Harris. “While we are not yet at pre-COVID-19 levels, we can now see that light at the end of the tunnel. This last quarter is the best since we closed our borders in March 2020.”
According to Prime Minister Harris, a positive sign of the recovery is the resumption of numerous flights by various air carriers.
“In 2021, we are recording significant increases in airlift into our country. All airlines, for example, American Airlines, British Airways, Caribe Air Charters, LIAT, Sky High, and other charters are now back and doing good business. About sixty (60) percent of all arriving passengers are from the USA and twenty (20) percent of the total arriving passengers are nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Dr. Harris said.
Dr. Harris added that the tourism industry, which was severely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, is showing significant signs of progress.
“The good news is that tourism is coming back in a strong way,” he said while highlighting the importance of the simultaneous berthing of the three (3) cruise vessels at Port Zante on November 23. “This means more jobs for taxi operators, more business, higher incomes, etc. We are grateful to God for these wonderful developments, yet we are mindful of the downside risks. COVID-19 is the most significant challenge to our achieving double-digit growth. We must confront and overcome it. The IMF predicts that in 2022 our economy will grow by ten (10) percent.”
He noted that continued economic growth lies heavily on how quickly St. Kitts and Nevis contains the third wave of COVID-19 and “continues to suppress the rate of transmission.”