Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 18, 2019 (SKNIS): In an effort to enhance the visitor experience, the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park Society introduced “The Changing of the Guard” on March 17, which will be a daily feature where soldiers dressed in the 4th West India Regiment uniform will stand guard at the fortress. The guard will be changed hourly.
“These military men were our forefathers and as a nation of people of predominantly African decent, we must reverence their memory and therefore pay homage to them and to their contribution on these hallowed grounds, which are now one of the premier, iconic tourist attractions,” said Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, at the ceremony at Brimstone Hill to mark the occasion. “The parade or the changing of the guards… will do just that.”
Minister Grant stated that this will be the first of what will become “an hourly spectacle” at the site. He added that the fortress has long stood as a symbol “of our forefathers’ ingenuity, creativity, resilience and craftsmanship.”
The tourism minister mentioned that the site is the first and only manmade fort in the Eastern Caribbean and was inscribed as a World UNESCO Heritage Site in December of 1999.
“At the Ministry of Tourism, we certainly appreciate both its inherent value as a source of pride and prestige and its immense revenue generating potential as a viable heritage tourism product,” said Minister Grant.
The minister said that youth in particular must appreciate the “modern day relevance and potential impact of this simple but important heritage site to our economy.”
“They possess an abundance of creative energies, out-of-the-box ideas, a penchant for networking and for using social media,” he said. “These are all skills that will, when properly honed, can translate into new niche markets that will increase our appeal and expand our tourism industry.”
Minister Grant noted that as his ministry strengthens its efforts to deliver a unique tourism product, the Changing of the Guard element at the fortress will certainty aid the efforts.
“As we intensify our efforts at the Ministry of Tourism, to grow our tourism product, to train our human resources, so that they deliver excellence in service, to enhance the aesthetics and to raise the standards generally at the various sites and attractions throughout St. Kitts and Nevis, I have no doubt that this element that is about to be introduced at Brimstone Hill will also add much value to an already impressive, attractive and compelling tourism product,” said the minister.
Minister Grant stated that repeat visitors will certainly enjoy the “pomp and ceremony of the soldiers parading in the vivid colours, the replica of the military regalia of the 4th West India Regiment and the sheer spectacle and the pageantry which each changing of the guard.”