Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 18, 2016 (SKNIS): Eco and Heritage Tourism are just two of the areas that draw persons to St. Kitts and Nevis, heritage being the most viable, says Assistant Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Diannille Taylor Williams.
Mrs. Williams explained that Eco-Tourism speaks to the environment and keeping it pristine. She added that the activities which take place in that particular environment must benefit the community or communities in which it lies.
“For example, if you have eco-lodges in a particular community, persons who provide the eco-lodge should be from the nearby community,” said Mrs. Williams. “That is what eco-tourism speaks to and keeping the area pristine.”
The assistant permanent secretary said that St. Kitts focuses on heritage tourism as it is “The Mother Colony.” She said that there is a lot of history and heritage attached to St. Kitts.
“We have a few good beaches even though it is contrary to what we think as locals,” said the assistant permanent secretary. “We tend to think of beaches on the South-East Peninsula as the best beaches, but visitors want to see our black sand beaches. However, because of the way we live or where our houses are built, we tend to have houses around the coast thereby blocking a lot of the black sand beach areas unlike our sister island Nevis where people tend to live more in the hills and the beaches are free. So, the black sand beaches are not accessible to our visitors, but we do have a lot of history.”
Mrs. Williams said that almost every square-foot of St. Kitts has some historical significance and some things citizens take for granted are of significance to the island’s history.
“So, heritage tourism is where we would have visits to Brimstone Hill; that is where that will come in place because it speaks to the heritage and the history of our people. The work that the people did, why was Brimstone Hill built-Brimstone Hill was built to fortify Fort Charles, which was below because people wanted to safeguard King-Sugar are just some stories visitors want to hear about. The money that was being generated from King-Sugar, which was being shipped out of Sandy Point, which was the port town, that tells of our heritage, that tells our story.”
Assistant Permanent Secretary Williams said that even though persons come to visit the beaches, there are more high-end tourists that come to visit for the story of the island.
“People who have the money; the more discerning visitor; the person who has the $100,000 and more disposable income, they want stories; they want to be able to sit by the game of dominoes; they want to understand the story behind the game of dominoes; why do we play it on weekends or why is it you make the noise when you are playing the game-those are the stories they want to hear. That is what heritage tourism speaks to, why we do what we do and what’s the story, the history behind it.”