CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (NIA) -- Minister of tourism and deputy premier in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), Mark Brantley has expressed hope that Nevis will experience a fruitful 2013/14 tourist season.
The minister explained the reason why he was hopeful for a prosperous season which commences late November and will conclude in April next year.
“We have fingers and toes crossed that it is going to be an excellent season. All indications are that we are going to have a bumper season this year. We hope that our promotions will pay off, we’re getting indications that bookings are up and we are seeing some new things,” he said.
Brantley also outlined the expectations in the cruise sector and spoke to the NIA’s efforts in generating more tourism activity on the island for the tourism season.
“I am very happy to report that Windstar will be coming back to Nevis this season, I think they are making seven calls. Seabourn and Club Med are both coming back to Nevis this season and the Azamara which made one call last season will now be making four calls this season.
“The Azamara Quest, which is the sister ship to the Azamara Journey, will be making its inaugural call to Nevis and so we are looking forward to much more activity at our port in terms of our cruise tourism,” he explained.
Brantley explained that the island had pursued cruise tourism in an effort to entice those visitors to the destination as stay over guests.
“Of course we use cruise in Nevis, as a gateway and our hope is that people who come on cruises would want to come back and stay as a land based visitors because all the statistics show, that the land-based tourism is really the sector that generates the most revenue. So that is what we are seeking to do,” he said.
Brantley added that apart from the cruise sector, the ministry of tourism was working to secure more flights into the Vance Amory International Airport, which catered to the island’s land-based guests.
“I am also happy to report that through the efforts of this Administration, we now have increased airlifts at the Vance Amory Airport. We have Tradewind Aviation... we couldn’t allow the current situation where the airport was not being utilized enough to continue and I think Tradewind is a tremendous success and Cape Air continues to be successful,” he explained.
The tourism minister also spoke to the administration’s intention of launch additional activities on the island for visitors to boost the island’s tourism activity during the season.
“We also have a new helicopter service based in St Kitts but we’ve given them rights to land in Nevis. That helicopter service is going to be doing some aerial tours but also be available in case of emergencies of course. So we are happy that that is a new development, a novelty development,” he said.
Brantley noted that the NIA remained hopeful for the upcoming tourism season and that it would benefit all stakeholders in the industry.
“We are very excited about the new season. We are looking forward so far for our effort this year bearing fruit. Of course, tourism at the end of the day is all about building our people, making sure that our stakeholders, our taxi drivers, our restaurateurs, the people working in our hotel sector, the people who work in farming and agriculture can benefit from it.
“So the test for me is people having more money in their pockets at the end of the day and if that can happen, I think we would have had a successful season,” he said.