Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 23, 2017 (SKNIS): The enhancement of the beaches at South Frigate Bay and Friars Bay has not been forgotten as plans to reactivate the Coastal Erosion Mitigation Project are in the works, says Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant, during a sitting of Parliament on May 23.
According to Minister Grant, the project is extremely important for the enhancement of the beaches.
“The Ministry of Tourism is very close to reactivating this project and we recently requested funds to secure the services of experts who can advise on how best to proceed with recommendations which we had made in 2015 by Smith Warner’s Report,” he said.
The objective of the project is to develop and implement a beach protection system that supports the re-nourishment of the beaches, both at South Frigate Bay and also at Friars Bay, for the long term preservation of the replenished locations, explained Minister Grant.
The tourism minister said that this intervention is critical to preserve sustainable livelihoods among business operators both at South Frigate Bay and at Friars Bay who make their living by selling food and services to visitors and locals alike.
“These beaches once attracted many visitors to the island, Mr. Speaker, and still are frequented by locals, but practically all the businesses are reporting decreased traffic and disappointed beach users because of the state of the beaches,” he said.
Minister Grant said that once the beaches are replenished, it will once again add value to the visitor experience and encourage increased use by locals.
“Without this intervention we believe we will continue to see mass exodus of operators of these beaches to Cockleshell, which is already under severe stress from overcrowding,” said the minister. “[At the beach], the continued erosion has the potential to lead to a significant reduction in our cruise and visitor arrivals generally. It will affect revenue to entrepreneurs and the country as a whole. To prevent the loss of jobs at some of the establishments operating at these locations and to complement the investment in the Frigate Bay Beach Enhancement Project at the strip, we are intending to freshen and revitalize the tourism product in general and increase revenue generation potential of these businesses in the environs.”
The Ministry of Tourism will be acquiring the required technical and other expertise shortly to continue the remedial action.