Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 2, 2015 (SKNIS)—Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of Sports, Honourable Shawn Richards, has suggested that St. Kitts and Nevis has benefited greatly from an economic standpoint from hosting some of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games during the summer and the CARIFTA Games during the Easter weekend.
Speaking on the Government’s weekly radio programme “Working for You,” recently, the sports minister highlighted that the airlines would have benefited with increased flights coming to the island as well as airport workers.
“The vendors who have gotten an opportunity to sell their different products would have benefited coming out of CARIFTA. Different tradesmen and women here in St. Kitts and Nevis would have benefited, because we had to do quite a bit of work to ensure that our stadium, the Kim Collins Athletic Stadium, was in a state of readiness to host these games,” Minister Richards said.
Additionally, Minister Richards noted that the Government would have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide accommodations for the visiting athletes and officials which would have been beneficial to the island’s tourism. He also pointed out that the visibility of St. Kitts and Nevis from regional and international media coverage of the games would have promoted the destination to an overseas audience. Minister Richards said the hundreds of Caribbean athletes who came here for the games, would have returned to their respective countries as ambassadors for St. Kitts and Nevis as they boasted to their compatriots of the quality hospitality they would have received during their stay.
“Apart from persons being able to look at the games, you have hundreds of athletes here who were then able to go back to their respective homes and become ambassadors on behalf of St. Kitts and Nevis to say to various persons that the hospitality provided here in St. Kitts and Nevis is second to none and that they would want to return and they would want to encourage other persons to return to St. Kitts and Nevis,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
On the CPL, the sports minister highlighted the additional employment CPL brought to the nation, as various persons were employed at the stadium. The hotels, he noted would have benefited hosting players and officials.
“They brought family members with them. They would have visited some of our local restaurants. They would have toured St. Kitts and Nevis. Vendors again would have benefited. For the very first time St. Kitts and Nevis was able to field its very own CPL team, the St. Kitts Nevis Patriots. That team actually went to our different schools, spoke to students; students were given tickets to attend those games. Vendors would have benefited as a result of that, tour operators would have benefited,” Minister Richards said.
He said that one of the highlights of CARIFTA was naming the athletics stadium in St. Kitts after the legendary St. Kitts and Nevis athlete Kim Collins. He thanked all those who helped to make the CARIFTA Games and the CPL T 20 earlier this year a success.