Basseterre: In view of the 38th anniversary of the independence of St Kitts and Nevis, St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party, which ruled for more than 20 years in streak under the leadership of Dr Denzil L Douglas, outlined their development works in the tourism sector.
Following the transition from the sugar industry to tourism, a major boost was required in the tourism sector to support the growing economy of the Federation. During the period of 1995 to 2015, St Kitts and Nevis witnessed the construction and renovation of several major hotels, resorts and condominiums such as:
• The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino
• Kittitian Hill
• KOI Resort
• Park Hyatt
• Hilden Estate
• Ramada Resort (still under construction)
• OTI, who received concessions to assist with major renovations to transform the site into what we have now
• Ocean Edge Resort
• Silver Reef Resort
• TDC Condominium Development
To increase and maintain a steady influx of visitors to our Federation, the SKNLP upgraded and expanded the RLB International Airport to facilitate an increase in the number of wide-bodied jets and negotiated direct flights from Miami, North Carolina, Washington DC, New York, and London.
Brand new birthing facilities were built to facilitate the world’s largest cruise liners, including Queen Mary II. Major shopping centers and a marina were constructed on Port Zante, which led to increased economic activities for visitors and locals. These changes also brought about a drastic increase in cruise ship arrivals.
With the increased cruise traffic, the SKNLP made provision for our vendors to benefit and experience increased business. Vendor’s booths were constructed for local entrepreneurs west Bus Terminal, the Amina Market and All Kinds of Things market.
The St. Kitts Scenic Railway was also introduced offering a historic and cultural tour of the island utilizing the old sugar railway tracks.
The SKNLP provided duty-free concessions for all taxi drivers and saw an increase in taxis servicing cruise and stayover visitors.
Brimstone Hill became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, through the efforts of the then SKNLP administration.
SKNLP facilitated the construction of Carifesta Village to host the participants of Carifesta VII from 17th-26th August 2000 here in St. Kitts and Nevis, under the theme “Caribbean Arts and Culture…Reflecting Consolidating, Moving On”.
The now internationally known St. Kitts Music Festival was introduced under the SKNLP and has skyrocketed to become one of the top music festivals in the Caribbean.
The Labour administration hosted internationally known reputable conferences such as the Heads of State and Governors Conference, the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Conference, Caribbean Tourism Organization Sustainable Tourism Conference, the International Whaling Conference, the Black Psychiatrist, among others.
Sports Tourism programmes were also established under the former Labour administration, which created the opportunity to host several regional and international sporting events such as ICC Cricket, Under 19 and Under 13 Cricket, Volleyball, and many others.