Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 10, 2017 (SKNIS): Government’s efforts to further integrate the rich heritage of the federation with its tourism product are expected to be complemented by the launch of the “Places of Memory – The Experiences and Contributions of the Enslaved Africans in St. Kitts and Nevis” Book, which took place on Tuesday, May 09, at Government House.
The book, published by Author and Historian, Leonard Stapleton, features 33 sites related to the enslaved Africans on St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Our local history is a significant aspect of our tourism product. Our rich and unique history distinguishes us from the typical sun, sand and sea that we share with other Caribbean destinations, and more and more tourists come to St. Kitts and Nevis to hear our stories and see the important places,” said Minister Grant, while commenting on the significance of the book. “The importance of it [the book] is its longevity for future generations yet unborn, to be able to have a piece of the history of St. Kitts and Nevis through the author, Leonard Stapleton.”
Mr. Stapleton added that the history of St. Kitts and Nevis is important and noted that it plays an important role in tourism. He made specific mention of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, which will present and promote aspects of local cultural heritage to its guests.
“I saw that here you have a hotel establishment that is basing a huge part of its product on letting the guests know of the heritage. They have developed journeys and this is integral to their thrust and what they are going to offer to their visitors – the stories of our ancestors here in St. Kitts and Nevis and I believe it deserves commendation,” said the historian.
Minister Grant said that equally important, the book caters to students at all levels and this is important as a number of schools now have a tourism education awareness programme in place that teaches students about the various aspects of tourism.
“This book, I believe, goes a very long way in educating the persons from the primary school and upwards in terms of what St. Kitts and Nevis has to offer,” said the tourism minister. “It is also important, I believe, that our people first know the stories for their own edification and also to share these stories with others. And I believe that it is in this vein that Leonard contributes to the training and the education of our tourism stakeholders and to the overall development of tourism in St. Kitts and Nevis.”
His Excellency Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton, Governor General, said that it is his hope to see as many of the nation’s children “exposed to the situation where they can relate to the personage of the past, the personage of the future” and see how persons can be engaged in terms of all of the history and heritage that St. Kitts and Nevis has to share.
Sir Tapley commended Mr. Stapleton for his perseverance in seeing the book to fruition, “as it is one of the chief characteristics that one has to employ in terms of engaging in publishing and circulating”.