Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 01, 2016 (SKNIS): Early this year, the McKnight community embraced the idea of Community Tourism and spearheaded the “McKnight on the Rise Beautification Project” which aimed at the further enhancement of the visitor experience.

Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant, mentioned this during his 2016 Tourism Awareness Month address. He stated that citizens should be proud of the tourism industry as St. Kitts is an ideal vacation getaway.

“Open your eyes and look around you, from village to village, town to town, we are surrounded by lush greenery, vegetation and brilliant mountain views,” said the minister. “Our beaches are spectacular. We have more than 240 inventoried historical sites such as Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, Spooner’s Ginnery to name but two. These are ours to protect and develop in a sustainable way so that generations to come can also reap the benefit.”

He stated that the residents of the McKnight Community have begun to make a difference in their community by adopting a space for beautification and recreation.

Minister Grant stated that another avenue for community development is the Rails to Trails Project.

“In the months ahead, you will certainly hear more about this outreach initiative that seeks to take tourism to the communities.”

Speaking on the radio-television programme “Working for You” in May, Community Tourism Officer, Shaline Welcome, said that the Ministry of Tourism tries as much as possible to encourage community groups to get tourists to visit historical sites in their area along with other features that are not usually explored.

“This is important because it gives the communities an opportunity to foster community pride and encourage more persons to develop more tourism related businesses within the area rather than the perception that historical sites are limited to Basseterre,” Ms. Welcome explained. “They will not only have historical sites in the area, but budding businesses can also be developed in the surrounding areas. This would encourage more visitors to the area.”