Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): After suffering heavy losses due to COVID-19, the tourism industry in St. Kitts and Nevis is showing steady signs of recovery, said government officials during Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris’ press conference on October 28, 2021, at NEMA.
“For the year so far, we have witnessed a steady improvement in stay-over arrivals to St Kitts and Nevis. Indeed, compared to last year, the fourth quarter, in particular, arrivals are significantly higher,” said Prime Minister Harris. “Truth be told, after March 2020, there was little or no tourism business as our borders were closed as a necessary measure to contain the pandemic. It was not until October 31, 2020, that we reopened fully. With quarantine now reduced effectively to 24 hours we expect to see continued improvements in visitor arrivals going into 2022.”
Dr. Harris added that the global cruise industry, which has been among those most affected by the pandemic, is coming back to life.
“Thankfully the cruise sector which was devastated in 2020 as a consequence of the pandemic has in the last few months been showing positive signs of a rebound,” he said. “I was happy to join our Minister of Tourism on Monday this week, to welcome the luxury cruise line Viking Orion on its inaugural call to St. Kitts. We anticipate 27 ship calls for November 2021 with an estimated 71,775 passengers. The preliminary projections for December are even better.”
Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that a lot has been done over the last couple of months to revive the sector.
“We have done a tremendous amount of work to get to where we are today. Over the last 18 months while in the height of the pandemic we trained in excess of 5300 who are either directly or indirectly involved in the tourism industry,” said Minister Grant. “We made sure that every single person identified in those central areas were trained in what was to come and what is our new norm. They were trained because we had a plan and the plan was, we know at some point in time the country would be opened up in a phased approach and eventually opened up fully.”
For November 2021, a total of 18 ship days are scheduled which translates to 27 calls with a projected passenger total for the month set at 71,775. Fifty-one (51) calls are scheduled for December equating to 119,146 projected passengers.