NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 16, 2018) —The following is an address delivered by Mr. John Hanley, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, on April 15, 2018, to mark the opening of Exposition Nevis, a month of Tourism Awareness activities:
A pleasant good morning to everyone. I wish to begin by apologising for the absence of the Honourable Premier Dr. Mark Brantley, Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration, who would have liked to be here today but is overseas attending to matters of state.
I must extend special thanks to Pastor Jennifer Weekes and her congregants for so warmly welcoming and accommodating us as we join in your worship today here at Fenton Hill. Good things often come in small packages and although Fenton Hill (Church of God of Prophecy) is a little congregation, God’s presence is no less evident here, in the rolling hills of Gingerland, than anywhere else on Nevis, this small island that we call our home. We pray that God will continue to richly bless you as you move from strength to strength working in His vineyard.
The Ministry of Tourism, today officially launches Exposition Nevis, which is our month of tourism awareness activities. The purpose of Exposition Nevis is to sensitise the general public of the role and purpose of the Ministry of Tourism and, by extension, the critical impact that the industry has on the economy of Nevis.
The theme for this year’s Exposition Nevis is “Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well.” The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has designated 2018 as the year of Wellness and Rejuvenation for the Caribbean and as such, we have decided to align our theme with this designation. It is God’s will that his people find healing and wellness. In the third epistle of John, chapter 3 and verse 2, the Word of God declares “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” We also see recorded in the book of Proverbs 17:22 – “A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”
There is a strong link between wellness and tourism. People have travelled for countless centuries to find cures and relief for their various ailments and afflictions. Nevis is no stranger to this phenomenon, as people claimed healing and restoration from the mineral laden waters of the Bath Hot Springs and this led to the establishment of the region’s first hotel, the Bath Hotel, in 1778.
People are willing to spend good money on wellness tourism. The global wellness sector is a $3.72 trillion industry, according to the Global Wellness Institute, that is a Miami, Florida-based non-profit organisation that provides global research and insight into the wellness industry. I found it interesting that of this almost USD $4 trillion, that was spent on health and wellness, approximately USD $1 trillion, which is about 25 percent of that, was spent on beauty and anti-aging products alone. Ladies, those beautiful faces of yours are sure costing us a pretty penny, but it is worth it.
CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley, as he launched the year of Wellness and Rejuvenation, stated “For those who focus on renewing body and spirit, the options are virtually endless; from beachfront workouts and yoga retreats, to wellness resorts and spa treatments, the notion of being rejuvenated in the Caribbean is one more reason to let us pamper you in 2018. The Caribbean region’s diverse landscape and mountain ranges, valleys and volcanoes, provide excellent opportunities for a variety of ages and physical abilities. Individual trekking, group hiking, health walks, fun-runs, marathons and a range of water-based health-related activities are held throughout the year in our CTO member-countries.”
We have seen here in Nevis, in modern times, a proliferation of health and wellness activities and enterprises: yoga, spas, gymnasiums, the FIT Games Centre at Bath Plains, holistic medicine, renewed interest in herbal medicines and bush teas and organic foods, as well as dietary control to manage chronic non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes which have become alarmingly widespread. We are beginning to take our health and wellness very seriously.
I must commend the staff at the Ministry of Tourism, under the chairmanship of your very own Lydia Lawrence, for putting together an exciting calendar of activities for Exposition Nevis 2018, which you can view on our Facebook page. We encourage you to eat well at the Jessups Seafood Fiesta and the New River Farmers’ Association Open Day. We want you to live well as you hike to the waterfall or to Saddle Hill and we implore you to be well at the yoga event at the FIT Games Centre at Bath Plains. The Ministry also invites one and all to join us on May 26th at our Tourism Awards Gala at the prestigious Four Seasons Resort Nevis, as we celebrate the outstanding achievements of our distinguished tourism practitioners, those individuals whose smiles, passion, long years of dedicated service and winning personalities have helped to make Nevis a truly healthy and rejuvenating destination.
On behalf of the Honourable Premier and Minister of Tourism, I take great pleasure in declaring Exposition Nevis 2018 officially open.
Thanks again, Pastor Weekes for your generous and warm welcome to the Fenton Hill Church of God of Prophecy and may God bless us all as we celebrate all things tourism as we “Eat Well, Live Well and Be Well.”