Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 22, 2017(SKNIS): There should be an economic impact assessment done for Carnival and other cultural events such as the St. Kitts Music Festival, says National Carnival Chairman, Noah Mills. Addressing the topic on the radio programme “Working For You” on January 18, Mr. Mills said that this economic impact assessment must be done from a scientific standpoint.
“It must go through the scientific research process where stakeholders have a meeting, we come up with four objectives and we develop the scientific research instruments. For example, standing on Fort Street and asking people would not give us a proper economic impact,” Mr. Mills said.
“We would need to incorporate surveys, we would need to go to the hotels and analyze their data and say: were you able to sell your rooms at a higher rate? How many were used up and booked during that Carnival period?” Mills added. He said he believes Carnival plays a “tremendous role” economically and socially. “(The assessment) needs to be done and it’s on our agenda for discussion.”
Economic impact assessments are not new to big sporting events such as the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Since its inception, the CPL conducts one every year where its most recent study revealed that the tournament poured just over US$90 million into the Caribbean region and generated US$102 million across all seven host venues.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mills spoke about the importance of accountability and transparency regarding the financial situation of Carnival. He said when he took charge of the National Carnival Committee in 2015, they received a page from the previous committee saying that the Carnival Committee owed $70,000 plus to various suppliers. He noted that he is not sure if the documentation and files of the finances of past Carnivals are available, but that his committee did not receive such documents. He noted however, that if the present Carnival committee under his supervision had to pass on information to another entity or successor, all the relevant financial documents would be made available.