Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 05, 2016 (SKNIS): Tourism in St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly cruise tourism, has seen tremendous growth and officials at the Ministry of Tourism said building awareness within the local population will be a key factor in continuing this trend.
According to figures from the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region enjoyed tourism growth of up to seven percent in 2015, and the CTO’s Secretary General, Hugh Riley, said the “the region has set new arrivals and spend records in 2015 far surpassing expectations.” A large majority of the jobs in most Caribbean countries, including St. Kitts and Nevis, are directly linked to tourism.
“We need to get our people in tune with the whole idea of tourism as being everybody’s business,” Senior Tourism Project Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Novelette Morton, said on Wednesday’s (May 04) edition of “Working for You.”
She added that a number of activities were continuously being held to raise public awareness about the value of the industry to the livelihood of citizens.
The appearance of Ms. Morton, along with Tourism’s Assistant Secretary, Diannille Taylor-Williams, and Community Tourism Officer, Shaline Welcome, on the weekly radio programme was one such activity. Events such as Restaurant Week, which promotes the use of home grown produce, targeted promotional spots on television such as the “I am a Kittitian” promo, and sponsorship of local persons/entertainment activities also tie into the awareness strategy.
“It is critical that we raise awareness,” Ms. Morton added. “The youth plays an important part because they are the ones who go home and influence their parents … tell their parents what they learnt in school and so it is very important that we start with our youth.”
Students are often engaged through competitions such as the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Youth Congress and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Essay Competition. The tourism officials said the ministry will continue to spread the message to all segments of society.