Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 16, 2015 (SKNIS): Speaking on this week’s (October 14) “Working for You” radio show, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant, stated that tourism is the main economic driver in St. Kitts and Nevis and as such there is need to continue on the path of sustainable tourism.
Minister Grant noted that visitors today are persons with discriminating taste and are not just looking for sun, sea and sand.
“The visitor of today is a more discerning visitor,” said the tourism minister. “It is a visitor who is seeking out new initiatives who want to see more of the history of the country and so historical sites come into play. It’s a visitor who wants a more authentic experience,” he said, noting that visitors do not want food that they are accustomed to but would rather have local cuisine.
“We have to take these things into account in mapping a policy and a position forward for the sustainability of the country,” said Minister Grant.
The tourism minister explained that St. Kitts and Nevis has to ensure that sites such as Brimstone Hill, which is a UNESCO designated heritage site, are preserved.
“We have to make sure we pump sufficient amounts of funds and resources to keep it properly maintained in the pristine condition that it is in. That is why we have to charge people what is necessary to enter.”
Minister Grant also stated that our overall natural history should be preserved.
With regards to sustainable tourism and climate change, Minister Grant made reference to the sargassum (type of seaweed) that recently washed up on the shores. The minister noted that this affects tourism as visitors expect to enjoy clean beaches. Therefore, measures will be put in place to address those concerns.
The tourism minister also noted that sustaining our marine life is important.
“We are also looking at establishing marine parks because there is that visitor who wants to find an area they would want to go to that is pristine and preserved for their niche market. So these are the kinds of things that we need to do.”
The tourism minister also revealed plans to preserve the landscape as buildings are being erected that take away from the scenery. Building codes are currently being discussed in Cabinet.