Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 19, 2017 (SKNIS): Now in its third year, Restaurant Week has been making a tremendous impact on the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, especially for small businesses, say key stakeholders and organizers of the week.
“The United Nations has declared 2017 as the international year for Tourism and Sustainable Development,” stated Kathleen Pessolano, Consultant to the Ministry of Tourism, as she expressed that the concept of eat local is not new but is something that is practiced worldwide. “Sustainable tourism development is a priority for the Ministry of Tourism,” she added.
Miss Pessolano went on to state that the collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture is keen in job creation and further promoting sustainable development opportunities in the economy. She highlighted that importing versus what is grown and consumed locally will have to be assessed in the steps towards sustainability. She also stated that this collaboration is not only important for international visitors but for locals as well.
Miss Pessolano said that the Ministry of Tourism and the Department of Agriculture are working hard and “prioritizing developments that focus on maximizing benefits for the community.” She also mentioned that the Ministry has a number of initiatives, including the Resident Satisfaction Survey, which is designed to gain local feedback on the initiatives of the Ministry.
Mrs. Carlene Henry Morton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, spoke about the positive feedback the Ministry of Tourism is receiving from the Resident Satisfaction Survey being conducted. “We want to hear what our local people think about the tourism sector,” said Mrs. Morton, as she noted that is important for the public to know of the new initiatives that the Ministry is trying to implement.
“We find that mostly the small businesses have benefited from Restaurant Week,” Miss Pessolano said, as she explained these small businesses gain a marketing boost and exposure from restaurant week which ultimately promotes economic growth. She also said that the Ministry has arranged for a journalist to cover the Restaurant Week proceedings to give further exposure to the participating restaurants.
Restaurant Week experiences feature “a schedule of events that is happening,” Miss Pessolano said, adding that this new initiative was done to promote engagement from the local population for Restaurant Week.
Restaurant Week has been making an impact on the local economy with the promotion of local business and local foods with the mission to create a sustainable economy.