CHARLESTOWN, Nevis (NIA) -- The ministry of tourism on Nevis has registered small but significant success in recent months. The announcement came from deputy premier and minister of tourism in the Nevis Island Administration, Mark Brantley, when he delivered a report on the state of ministries in his charge at a recent sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly.
Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration Mark Brantley at a recent sitting of the Nevis Island Assembly
Brantley stated that one area in which there was a marked improvement was in the promotion and aggressive marketing of the destination.
“One of the difficulties that we have had with tourism is that ... Nevis was not being promoted. Nevis people were not hearing about Nevis. We’re not in the market place as we used to be. So we have gone out there very aggressively and sought to reignite interest in this Nevis as a jurisdiction.
“We think that it is far and away the finest jurisdiction in the Caribbean and one of the finest in the world and so we have gone out and taken that message,” he said.
The tourism minister noted that the move to make the destination a more visible one had so far brought some success.
“Some of the initiatives we’ve embarked upon which we feel are already showing success and the fruit already being seen, is that we have attracted quite a bit of favourable press lately... The public would know ... that Nevis has just been voted by Conde Naste as the second best island in the Caribbean.
“We missed the top spot by an ump and I am hopeful that by next year, we will take our rightful place as the top island in the Caribbean but this year, we’re second to Bermuda. So I am looking forward very much to achieving even greater benefit and greater accolades on the island next year and as these initiatives that we’ve embarked upon roll out,” he said.
In addition, Brantley pointed to the ongoing works to enhance some of the tourist sights on the island. He stated that there was a renewed thrust to develop and showcase the island’s historical sites.
“I want to report that work at New River ... is due to start very shortly, this is a partnership between the Nevis Island Administration and the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society. The idea at New River is to create an open museum so that people can go for a small fee and see what it was like to grind sugar there.
“I’m also advised that the good people at the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society that they have unearthed the names of some slaves, who would have worked at that particular estate. So we want to mount a monument to their memory; to our forefathers who would have certainly been there and who would have paved the way for us to be here today,” he said.
In relation to all the other historical sites, Brantley explained that the Administration had made a commitment that the island’s heritage and sustainability were critical if tourism were to be taken to the next level and in that regard plans were afoot for the continued beautification of the grounds of the Bath Hotel.
“The people of Nevis will see work being done at the Bath Hotel, for example. We have created some beautiful gardens there. For those of you who are interested in getting married ... you might want to go there and see the gardens because we have created some beautiful gardens at the Bath Hotel.
“In fact, it’s a magnificent edifice which was left over the years just to languish and so we are saying no. This is a significant part in our history, a significant part of our tourism plant and we are going to raise the standards and we’ve already done that,” he said.
The tourism minister stated that much had been done at the Heritage Village in recent months and invited members of the public to visit the site. He also announced new developments there during the upcoming cruise season.
“One of the exciting new developments is that as the cruise season kicks off this year in late November, one of the cruise ships has indicated to us that they want to have events at the Heritage Village and they’re talking about over 600 passengers who are likely to be there for a grand event at that site.
“So we’re getting that ready, again, to partner with the cruise ships and partner with the various tourism stakeholders in order to create real tangible benefit, money in their pockets for the people of Nevis,” he said.
The Artisan Village in Charlestown will also receive some attention and, according to the tourism minister, some additional huts would be constructed; a bandstand would be created and the area would be landscaped in an effort to create an area more conducive to relaxation and one which could be enjoyed by both locals and visitors to the island.