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Tourism Officials Address Possible Impact of Russia-Ukraine Conflict

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Prior to the start of the Russia-Ukraine Military conflict on Thursday (February 24), Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports, the Hon Lindsay Grant, said they were monitoring the situation for the possible implication the conflict could mean for the region.

“Obviously, we think it’s going to have an effect on fuel prices which in turn will have an effect on airline prices, so we are watching it very carefully. What I can say to you, looking at the prices of flights into St. Kitts because that has always been a concern of ours. We find that our prices are a bit off when it comes to [comparison with] other destinations very close to us. American Airlines and the other entities have always had a difference of opinion with us when it comes to that. But we are watching that very carefully in terms of our arrivals here,” said the tourism minister during his press briefing on Wednesday (February 23).

The Minister noted that the authority has observed the increase in gas prices but also indicated that the desire to travel is higher considering the rate at which the pandemic has influenced travel over the last two years.

“What I can say is that there is a lot of pent-up demand at the moment for travel, and so we have to capitalise on that. But you are certainly correct because if you’re looking at gas at the pump even this week in St. Kitts, I think it has gone up over a dollar at the pump this week. So yes, it’s going to be something we have to continue to watch.”

Recently, the price of gas in the Federation increased with Unleaded Gasoline at Delta Service Stations reaching EC$14.78 per gallon, an increase of EC$0.52 over a week.

At SOL Service Stations, Unleaded Gasoline also increased by EC$0.52, bringing the price to EC$15.00 per gallon.

Below shows prices for unleaded over the past three months:

Date

Service Stations

Prices – Per Gallon (EC)

Dec-10-21

Delta Service

15.34

SOL Service Stations

14.08

Dec-15-21

Delta Service

15.34

SOL Service Stations

13.13

Dec-22-21

Delta Service

15.34

SOL Service Stations

13.34

Jan-08-22

Delta Service

14.26

SOL Service Stations

13.57

Jan-18-22

Delta Service

14.26

SOL Service Stations

13.88

Feb-01-22

Delta Service

14.26

SOL Service Stations

14.48

Feb-22-22

Delta Service

14.78

SOL Service Stations

15.00

 

In the region, petroleum-producing countries are Trinidad and Tobago, Cuba and Barbados. The shortfall in energy supplies some from Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Mexico and other international export sources.

Russia is one of the biggest oil and gas producers globally, supplying crude oil to countries in Europe.

Any disruption to the supply would have an impact on prices. Oil was priced in the US$60 per barrel range a year ago and started 2020 with prices at US$70 and US$80 per barrel.

Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensified on Thursday, oil has already reached US$105 a barrel, the first time it’s done so since 2014.

Increased gas prices in Europe could drive up ticket prices to the continent, and cautious consumers could be driven to vacation in the Caribbean, according to the St. Kitts Tourism Authorities CEO, Mr Ellison Thompson.

“I think the caution by the consumer is going to be travelling to Europe, so that could possibly bode well for travel into the Caribbean. That’s a possibility that we’ll get a boost from that if they [the consumer] get a challenge in travelling to Europe at this time.”

MAKANA FERRY SCHEDULE

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