Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 13, 2016 (SKNIS): During his presentation on the 2017 Budget, on December 09, Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lindsay Grant, stated that the cruise industry has a significant impact on the nation’s economy.
The minister referenced the Business Research and Economic Advisors (BREA) Report, which is a report on the economic contribution of cruise tourism destination to economies that analyses the contribution of the cruise industry to 35 jurisdictions, including St. Kitts and Nevis.
The report states that the contribution of the cruise industry to St. Kitts and Nevis is $US 84.3 million per year.
“So, over $200 million the ships bring to us in terms of the impact on this economy,” said the minister.
The report also states that the total employment within the industry is 1293. In addition, the report gives the total employee wage income that arises from cruise and shows that it is some $US11.2 million, which the minster states is significant.
It was just in the February 19 Sitting of Parliament that the minister of tourism reported on the state of the tourism industry in St. Kitts and Nevis and said he was excited by the growth and potential.
He said that according to the World Travel and Tourism Commission, statistics show that tourism contributes directly and indirectly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the twin-island federation by 25.5 percent.
The report also noted that approximately 25 percent of the nation’s workforce holds jobs that are directly or indirectly linked to the industry.
“This is why Mr. Speaker, the success of our tourism sector is critical for our national development because it drives our economy and directly impacts the wealth of our citizens,” he said.
During that Sitting of Parliament he noted that the market for cruise tourism remains “very buoyant.”
In relation to this, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, in his 2017 Budget Address, said the government will continue to be proactive in the development and expansion of the cruise sector.
He said that most major cruise lines now include St. Kitts as a port of call in their itineraries and St. Kitts has year-round visits from multiple vessels with cruise lines originating from a diverse range of countries.
“During the 2015/2016 season, the federation welcomed a record 21 inaugural cruise calls as well as two of the world’s largest cruise vessels on the same day namely, the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas, a testament to the appeal our tourism product and destination.”