CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — As the region celebrates Caribbean Tourism Month in November, Premier and Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Mark Brantley, is inviting visitors back to the shores of Nevis now that the Federation has re-opened its borders to commercial travel.
Caribbean Tourism Month 2020 is being celebrated under the theme “The Caribbean Awaits.”
“As we celebrate tourism month at the time of the reopening of our borders, Nevis is inviting travellers to come visit and experience how the Caribbean used to be,” said Hon Bradley on Nov. 2. “We have missed you these past several months but we are now ready to welcome you back into a safe and secure environment.”
Premier Brantley said the theme this year is fitting as Nevis, like all of the other territories heavily dependent on tourism revenue, is now re-opening to the world with the hope that international travellers will start returning to Caribbean destinations.
COVID-19 protocols have been implemented for incoming international travellers to St. Kitts and Nevis, including negative PCR test at least 72 hours prior to arrival, varying quarantine periods, wearing of face masks in public spaces, and limited interaction with the rest of the population.
“The thing that is of value to us is the very thing we are trying to protect,” said Hon. Brantley. “That is, that St. Kitts and Nevis has handled the COVID-19 Pandemic in such a way that we’ve had few cases, no hospitalization, no deaths, and even the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has put us on low risk for COVID.
“That means that we will be in a position to say to potential visitors that we are a safe destination to visit,” he said. “That is the hope, that the way that we have handled COVID-19 will now pay dividends in terms of people who are willing to come; especially those who are willing to come for extended stays; those homeowners, or those who just want to come here and stay here for a year, for six months as the case may be; that they may choose to come here simply because we are safe as a destination.”
Brantley said after being closed since March, and the uncertainty of when the borders would have been re-opened, hotels on Nevis can now ramp up their marketing campaigns. Anticipation is high that the 2020/2021 tourist season can be salvaged.
“So the numbers at this stage…are not particularly encouraging,” said Brantley . “We’ve had for example, a report from Paradise Beach Villa Resort, that they have excellent bookings for December. They expect to ramp up and even to be full by the time December comes around.
“We hope the high season for us always begins at about December 10 or the 15th,” said Brantley. “That’s where we make the maximum money from tourism on the island. We are hopeful that we still have enough time to salvage that and have some quality of a season going forward.”
St. Kitts and Nevis opened its borders to commercial travel on October 31.