Friday, April 30, 2021
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — St Kitts and Nevis’ government believes the hosting of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will help stimulate a tourism sector that has been dealt a severe blow by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Sports Minister Jonel Powell said he expected the popular Twenty20 tournament, scheduled to bowl off August 28, to have a positive impact especially on hotels and restaurants with a boost also anticipated for the services sector.
This, Powell said, would translate into increased employment at a difficult time when there was little economic activity due to the pandemic.
“We have identified the fact we have been blessed and able to manage the COVID-19 situation very well here, and bearing in mind the substantial economic benefits that would flow from being able to host the entire CPL here in St Kitts and Nevis, particularly at a time when things are very slow because of the pandemic, we thought it to be a very prudent move to try and get the games here and we’ve been successful,” Powell said.
“Our tourism sector has taken a very hard-hit like everywhere else in the region, so to be able to get — I think the calculation is over 1,000 rooms — at a point in time when those rooms would not necessarily be filled, is a good thing to have.
“To be able to have the entire CPL cohort here for some six weeks, we are looking at at the hotel rooms, the added staff that would need to be hired in order to take care of the capacity, the spillover effect in terms of restaurants and entertainment, the simple things such as catering, transportation — all of these things are opportunities for ordinary people here in St Kitts and Nevis to get jobs at a difficult time.”
Last year, Trinidad and Tobago hosted the tournament in its entirety as organisers were forced to resort to one territory due to the onset of COVID-19 in the Caribbean.