A feasibility study is being conducted to find out what impact the annual Carnival has on the local economy.
For the past two months the Federation has been engaging in a National Carnival dubbed Sugar Mas which was concluded Tuesday. It resulted in many residents and visitors spending money across various avenues and on various features related to Carnival.
Chairman of the National Carnival Committee Noah announced that the study would be done as a collaboration with his committee, officials of the government and an independent entity..
“We are seeking an independent entity and I have gotten word that the University of the West Indies may be contacted to conduct a feasibility study,” Mills said.
Mills stated that he was not aware of any precedent of such a study pertaining to Carnival being done in the past, but noted that due to the kind of participation in the festivities on a whole one ought to be conducted.
“Did you see the numbers for Jouvert, for Grand Parade, for Junior Parade and the numbers for last lap? They were incredible,” he said.
Mills noted that it was important to determine what the factors were driving individuals to these events. “Maybe the product has improved in quality, maybe those islands who were affected by the hurricane saw some people coming home.”
“It was such a beautiful experience to see hotels, taxis, restaurants, bars, vendors on the street and the number of persons spending money would have been tremendous when it comes to financial impact,” Mills noted.
He added that it was important to have factual documentation indicating how much had been spent over the period and the effects they may have on the overall economic outlook of the Federation. “We need to be in a position to say ‘$X’ would have been spent in the economy. We want hard facts not opinions.” Mills noted that it was important to determine what the factors were driving individuals to these events.
National Carnival dubbed Sugar Mas is the largest cultural celebration in St. Kitts and Nevis, and ran from November 19th to January 2nd. The festivities featured a number of pageants, Junior and Senior Calypso Competitions, a Soca Monarch and street celebrations with Jouvert on Boxing Day and Grand Carnival Parade on New Years Day.