St Kitts cruise arrivals looking
up for '08
THE Addition of Carnival Destiny marks the island's first year-round
weekly ship continuing to demonstrate its readiness to welcome international
visitors to its shores, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority has announced
that its cruise arrivals will increase by over 70 per cent in 2008.
This increase is largely due to the addition of the Carnival Destiny
to the island's cruise ship roster, which will be the first cruise
ship to call at St. Kitts on a weekly year-round basis.
The Carnival Destiny will bring 130,000 passengers next year to
St. Kitts, beginning with its first call on January 10, 2008. The
ship will spend a full day in port, allowing passengers the maximum
amount of time to explore St. Kitts' natural beauty, numerous attractions
and variety of activities.
annual passenger milestone
"We are approaching the 400,000 annual passenger milestone
in the growth of St. Kitts' cruise tourism industry," stated
Ricky Skerritt, Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism, Sports
and Culture. "However, increasing the number of passenger arrivals
is not our biggest concern. We are more concerned about seasonality,
sustainability and the quality of visitor experience and visitor
expenditure. The year round arrival of the Carnival Destiny will
make a major difference to all of these concerns, and is a development
which highlights the emergence of St. Kitts as a world-class destination
with unique cultural and recreational experiences that are sought
after by today's discerning travellers."
In response to the anticipated growth in tourism from cruise passenger
arrivals as well as overall arrivals, St. Kitts has certified more
than 60 new taxi drivers over the past year alone and continued
to provide duty and tax exemptions on vehicle imports to local taxi
operators to accommodate the increased demand for transportation
and island tours from visitors.
extensive hospitality training
All taxi operators are required to complete extensive hospitality
training prior to licensing in order to ensure the consistent delivery
of a top quality taxi experience. "The waiting list for new
taxi licenses is still quite long," Skerritt added, "but
we will continue to expand and improve the quality of our taxi fleet
on a need-to basis."
Located in the northern Leeward Islands of the Caribbean, St. Kitts
offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination's
natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island's
stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the
tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the
island's sugar plantations, touring Brimstone Hill Fortress, the
only man-made UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Eastern Caribbean,
wreck diving and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as
water sports, golf, shopping, tennis, gourmet dining, shopping downtown,
gaming at St. Kitts' exclusive casino or simply relaxing on one
of the island's sandy beaches. Guests can select from accommodations
ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts.