At the monthly press conference held by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris on November 14, Minister Grant noted that the significant increase in cruise passengers has had a positive effect on the local service providers in the tourism industry and on the economy as a whole.
“The hair braiders, the aloe rub vendors, the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) people, the taxis, the tour operators – dollars are being spent throughout in terms of them reaching the man on the street, so to speak,” the Tourism Minister said, adding, “The future really looks bright for us, as you could recognize.”
Minister Grant said this while referring to the latest report by the Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA), which provides professional market and economic analyses. The report details the economic contribution of cruise tourism to 36 destination economies located in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America during the 2017/2018 cruise year, which ran from May 2017 to April 2018. The survey period began at the start of October 2017 and concluded at the end of May 2018.
Among the findings:
- St. Kitts and Nevis stood among the eleven (11) destinations (out of the 36 studied) that had direct cruise tourism expenditures of US$100 million or more. In fact, the total (est.) economic contribution of cruise tourism to St. Kitts and Nevis for the 2017/2018 cruise year was $149.28 million. This placed St. Kitts and Nevis ahead of Aruba ($102.75 million), the Dominican Republic ($134.72 million), Honduras ($107.36 million), and St. Maarten ($143.24 million).
- St. Kitts had the seventh highest cruise tourism expenditures, with $149 million. It also ranked seventh in combined passenger and crew onshore visits with 1.14 million visits. These visits generated an average total expenditure of $130.86 per visit across all passenger and crew visits. The $149 million in direct expenditures, in turn, generated an estimated 2,065 jobs paying $17.6 million in wage income during the 2017/2018 cruise year.
- St. Kitts and Nevis stood among the eight (8) destinations (out of the 36 studied) that had total passenger expenditures (“cruise passenger spend”) in excess of US$100 million. “Passengers spent…$133 million in St. Kitts, $112 million in St. Maarten, and $100 million in Puerto Rico,” the Report by BREA said. “Combined, passenger onshore expenditures in these top eight destinations accounted for 62 percent of the onshore passenger expenditures among the 36 destinations and totaled nearly $1.6 billion,” the Report by BREA added.
- The average spend per passenger in St. Kitts and Nevis during the period studied was US$135.94, up from $111.30 in 2015. The last BREA Report on the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism studied the 2014/2015 cruise season.
- In 2018, St. Kitts and Nevis ranked 3rd out of the 36 destinations studied in “average spend per passenger” behind the U.S. Virgin Islands ($165.42) and St. Maarten ($142.23).