BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 10TH, 2017 (PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris said this week that there are signs of progress all over the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Prime Minister Harris mentioned the country’s booming cruise ship industry as an example.
For instance, in December 2017, four- and five-ship days will be common, with Christmas Day, the 25th, and Boxing Day, the 26th, both having seven ships visiting the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. Next month, the 17th is the only day that will not see a cruise ship visit.
What’s more, for the 2017-2018 season, St. Kitts and Nevis is projected to receive a total of 569 cruise ship calls with over 1.5 million passengers. These are “higher numbers than we have ever before experienced,” Minister of Tourism et al., the Honourable Lindsay Grant says in the foreword to the recently published 2017-2018 Cruise Itinerary.
The statistics compiled by the St. Christopher Air & Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) and the Nevis Air & Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) bear this out. For instance, they report that a total of 301 cruise ship calls brought 575,049 cruise ship passengers to the Federation in 2013 and a total of 371 cruise ship calls brought 694,671 cruise ship passengers in 2014.
Close to 16,000 cruise tourists arrived in the Federation on Thursday, January 12th, 2017, marking an auspicious start to the year for the industry. That day, the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister interviewed several stakeholders in the tourism industry who said that, without a doubt, business was bustling due to the booming cruise sector.
Talbert Warner, a taxi driver and tour operator, said, “Today was a wonderful day. Honestly, I don’t think no taxi man could complain about today. We had a lot of persons on the ground today, and I would say I feel comfortable with the monies that I made today.”
Alvin Clarke, a tour operator, said, “Today was a tremendous day. I have to say I give God thanks to see the amount of ships that come to our shores. It shows that St. Kitts is getting somewhere…”
Edmund “York” Woodley, a tour operator, said, “I had an organized tour [of 22 cruise tourists today]…from my website. We went right around the island…They were impressed with St. Kitts. They said it’s beautiful…”
Tour operator Joseph Leader said, “Today wasn’t a bad day at all. Most of my trips were to the beach, to the Dolphin Park, South Friar’s and Cockleshell Beach. The day was good, and I want to thank [the team at] Tourism for what they are doing. They are doing a good job.”
At Frigate Bay Beach, the Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister interviewed a couple from Germany, Anita and Joseph, who were tourists from the AIDAluna cruise ship. Joseph said, “We had a nice taxi driver. He told us a lot.” He added: “Here, it seems the world is a little different, more nice.”
At Carambola Beach Club, the Press Unit spoke with Sebastian Köerner from Germany, a cruise ship employee who visits every two weeks. “I had an incredible day on the jet skis, enjoying the nice view of St. Kitts. It’s awesome to go jet skiing in St. Kitts,” said Sebastian, who works as a TV operator on the AIDAluna. He added: “I think it’s a classic Caribbean island over here, and it’s beautiful. You’ve got nice beaches, you’ve got a nice crystal clear ocean, and you’ve got friendly people all over. It’s awesome.”
Then around 4:45pm, the Press Unit talked with Ram Aguilar, front of the house supervisor at Carambola Beach Club, who said, “It was extremely busy today. We started opening Carambola about 8 o’ clock in the morning, and all the passengers came through just like they normally do…We have two bars running today and all of them are so busy. We served approximately around 2,000 to 5,000 people today at the beach club…”