Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 12, 2017 (SKNIS): Culture is an important part of the tourism product in St. Kitts and Nevis and it is what sets the island apart from others. For this reason, a national culture policy is currently being drafted as culture is an important part of national, personal and communal development and must be preserved, says Director in the Ministry of Culture, Troy Mills.
Mr. Mills said that some work on the National Culture Policy was done in 2010/ 2011. Dr. Keith Nurse out of Trinidad and Tobago, who is a lecturer at UWI (University of the West Indies) Barbados, is now being brought on board to move the draft policy forward.
The director said that Dr. Nurse will be on island next month (February 2016). The drafting of the national culture policy is being sponsored by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Mr. Mills thanked Secretary General of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Commission for UNESCO, Antonio Maynard, for working with the Ministry of Culture and in particular, the Department of Culture.
“They sponsored the initial work and we now have a draft and he (Dr. Keith Nurse) is going to be coming through and meeting with stakeholders and having some discussions to really ratify that draft because 16 or 17 years ago a lot would have changed with culture. The seriousness of culture has changed,” said the director.
Mr. Mills said that tourism is no longer just about sea, sand and sea and that St. Kitts and Nevis as a destination that competes with other islands has to stand out.
“Barbados might have better sun, sea water and sand than we here in St. Kitts,” said the director of culture. “So, why do you as a tourist want to come to St. Kitts and Nevis as opposed to Barbados, St. Marten, St. Thomas, Cuba? It goes back to the cultural experience—the people, the heritage we have, the sights, the hospitality we have of the people, the love, the warmth, the caring and all those intangible elements.”
He said that Dr. Nurse will help guide the policy through to its final stages.
The director of culture said that the final draft national culture policy will be presented to the minister of culture for it to receive the Cabinet’s approval and later to be tabled in the Parliament so it can become law.
Mr. Mills said that there will be a national culture policy which would define in more detail what “we as a Kittitian and Nevisian people, what we are really all about, what we should be looking at, strategic development plan, what the people could expect from the government and what the government could expect from the people.”