St Kitts and Nevis: Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Transport and Ports Lindsay Grant provided information on the tourism sector and various transformation in the sector. He also provided an update on the slower pace of cruise tourism and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
During the press conference on Thursday, March 24, 2022, transport minister Lindsay said that every stakeholder should be prepared for the upcoming slower period in cruising tourism as the industry has relocated its vessels to other continents.
He emphasized, “Many of the cruise lines in St Kitts and Nevis reposition their ships to destinations like Europe and Alaska. The positions are warm and fetch the attraction of tourism during the summer months as compared to the winter periods. However, some cruise lines are moving toward the online approach”.
Further, he informed that around 35 ports had been used by the cruise vessels in April 2022, which is more than 50 percent and lower than that of 75 percent recorded on March 23, 2022. In 2020, there were 33 ports calls and 29 projected calls.
He noted,” The winter cruise season is near the end of its peak, and we can’t expect same cruise arrivals in the coming summer season”.
So, stakeholders must gear up their innovative ideas to maintain the cruise tourism that has in the St Kitts tourism product, minister of tourism added.
While informing about the tourism arrivals in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis, Minister Grant said that travel around the world and in particular to the Federation is on the rebound.
He noted that in the month of February of 2022, the country had welcomed 6,354 air travel arrivals which further increased 638.81 percent. On the contrary, around 860 arrivals have been welcomed by the destinations in the month of February 2021.
“The strategic and various easing in the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the destinations more accessible to the travellers from across the globe,” he added.
Minister Grant also stated that On Monday, March 2022, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has also dropped the risk level for travel to St. Kitts from a four to a three and at a level three. The CDC also advises travellers to ensure that they have to be fully vaccinated before travelling to destinations within this category, whereas at a level four, travellers are advised not to travel to destinations within the level four category.”
“Over the past two months, they have seen the rapid increase and also witnessed incredible decline Omicron cases across the globe as we continue to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the calm that everyone is expecting with the decrease in the COVID cases has once again been threatened by global events which include the ongoing conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and the highest inflation rates to be reported in over 40 years,” Minister Grant said.