Tourism growth continues in St. Kitts
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Tourism in St. Kitts continues to record impressive growth as the island gains more positive publicity from the international press and high ratings from discerning travellers.
At his monthly press conference March 14, Prime Minister the Honourable Dr. Timothy Harris gave an update on cruise and stay-over arrivals for the first two months of 2018. He quoted figures from the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA), which indicated that for the period January to February 2018, there were 25,744 individuals who arrived by air.
“This is up 9 percent (by 2,059) [more than the] 23,685 in 2017,” Harris stated.
In relation to arrivals by sea, the prime minister revealed that “we recorded 163 cruise vessel calls, up 41 percent over the 116 for the same period January to February 2017.” Cruise passenger arrivals were also up from 271,829 in January and February 2017 to 321,800 over the same period in 2018. This represents an 18 percent increase.
Tourism officials expect the growth trend to continue as word of the offerings in the destination reverberates further in international travel circles. Recently, two reputable publications spotlighted the attractiveness of the destination. Bloomberg Businessweek listed St. Kitts as one of the 22 destinations that will be “especially hot” this year in its list titled “Where to Go in 2018.” The Robb Report also listed St. Kitts as one of the “Top 21 Places to Travel in 2018.”
The increase in international flights into the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport by carriers such as American and Delta Airlines, as well as the construction of a second cruise pier is also expected to boost arrivals to the island.
Tourists will have a growing number of accommodation choices when visiting the island. Prime Minister Harris said. “Within three years, we have effectively given and added impetus to or jumpstarted work on some four hotels,” he said. “We brought Park Hyatt to a successful completion, energized work at T Loft/Radisson, KOI, Helden’s, and the Pavilion Hotel, all of which are now on schedule to open in 2018. This is a remarkable achievement for our government.”