Opening of cruise tourism to assist thousands of people: PM Harris

The economy of St Kitts and Nevis is recovering certainly in the Tourism sector, which was affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, stated Prime Minister Timothy Harris, while addressing the nation during a press conference on Tuesday.

St Kitts and Nevis: The economy of St Kitts and Nevis is recovering certainly in the Tourism sector, which was affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, stated Prime Minister Timothy Harris, while addressing the nation during a press conference on Tuesday.

PM provided an update on his administrations’ work and activities done in the past weeks, certainly in three areas – safety, relief and recovery.

PM Harris noted that Team Unity Administration’s decision to push the cruise tourism by making a significant concession that only vaccinated cruise passengers will be permitted to enter the federation has been fruitful.

The prime minister stated while taking this decision; his administration took into consideration every aspect, such as – once visitors are fully vaccinated, the risk of COVID-19 transmission is reduced to a significant level, and the vaccination roll-out statistics as it provides safety against the virus. He added that the coordinated efforts to manage cruise visits through bubble arrangements would result in a safer corridor of containment.

Prime Minister emphasized that the opening of cruise tourism will assist thousands of people in getting back to work while increasing income flows and business projects and added that all this could be achieved only if citizens adhere by COVID-19 health protocols and get themselves vaccinated.

“For around 17 months, a large number of people such as – taxi operators, employees at duty-free shops at Port Zante, for them a brighter future is ahead, ” PM Harris asserted.

Following his statement, he noted that the administration would get steady inflows from the cruise business when substantial dependence of SCASPA and solid waste on budgetary support from the central government will be reduced and added, “For the year of 2020 and 2021, my government provided support to these entities to the tune of $ 12.4 million.”

Standing by the decision, PM cited that it will also guard the island’s heavy investments in cruise tourism, adding that this will also strengthen
the profits which are earned in the previous 6 years by the Team Unity administration.

SKN became a marquee port for two years in a row, amassing more than 2 million passengers to the shores, which is the fastest growth in the tourism sector among the other nation of the region, the prime minister focused.

“We will build on this even as the SKN administration diversifies around tourism and increase our stay over arrivals, thereby instituting a stronger and more resilient economy of the country,” following the statement PM added.

Regarding the stayover arrivals, PM informed that American Airlines is resuming the Miami daily flight to St Kitt’s from Tuesday, November 2, while Delta – Atlanta daily flight would close at this month’s end and restart during the fall while providing flight services on Saturday only.

He noted that the Saturday and Newark weekly flight services from United Airlines would resume from Saturday, December 18, 2021, continuing till April 30, 2022. The flight from British Airways would begin with a once-weekly service that is on Saturdays and Wednesdays from October 3 and October 10, 2021. In comparison, the flight services from Air Canada Rouge would start from Saturday, November 7, 2021, to April 2022.

PM Harris noted that SKN is expecting a much-improved last quarter in the year 2021 as compared to 2020 and a satisfactory winter season in 2022.

Prime Minister further focused on the benefits and importance of education tourism and added that thousands of individuals came to SKN to work as faculty and to pursue their study at Ross University, Windsor University etc. and added that their contribution to the island’s economy has increased the retail and wholesale activities, supported the restaurants and hospitality subsector, home and car rentals.

He noted that Ross University has successfully repatriated around 1700 students and faculty to SKN island.