The tourism sector in St Kitts and Nevis is poised to receive a “Fresh Start” in 2017, according to Prime Minister Timothy Harris.

“As part of our Fresh Start Agenda, my Team Unity Government will work to implement dynamic and innovative projects and programs to raise the standard and quality of the Tourism Sector,” Harris said in his Budget Address for the fiscal year 2016.

Harris added that the government has realized that in order to optimise benefits from the sector, it is imperative to attract a significant number of “high-end” visitors, while ensuring that these efforts are concentrated on developing a product.

“Stay-over arrivals from our major source markets – cruise ship passengers and related calls – and our yachting sector all show positive out turns for the year so far,” he said. “Carefully developed niche marketing programs have begun to yield positive returns.”

Harris also announced that the government has endorsed a partnership between the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Tourism to launch an innovative  Tourism Education Programme.

“The Programme will be rolled out in stages from late 2016 through 2017 as a pilot programme in Basseterre High School and two primary schools which will be selected after further consultation with the Ministry of Education,” he said. Another issue the government is taking action to address is the challenges with erosion at Frigate Bay and South Friars Bay Beach.

Improved airlift is a further step up in delivery of quality visitor growth. Delta Airlines is expanding its service to St Kitts and Nevis. The Nevis Tourism Authority has announced that Delta has added a second flight to its St Kitts schedule for the upcoming winter season.

The new Wednesday Delta St Kitts Flight from Atlanta will operate between mid-December and mid-January in time for the peak holiday season. The new flight comes in addition to the weekly Saturday flight Delta already operates out of Atlanta. The schedule will allow for connections from across Delta’s US network and help boost travel to neighbouring Nevis.

“This additional flight will make travel to Nevis even easier during what is our busiest period,” said Mark Brantley St. Kitts and Nevis Minister of Foreign Affairs and Aviation and Nevis Tourism Minister. “Our tourism figures support the demand for increased seat capacity and flights to the island and we’re glad that Delta has provided this welcome addition.”

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