BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jul. 17.2018 - PORT ZANTE came alive yesterday (Jul. 16), as the Ministry of Tourism’s strategic planning and positive ground work paid off in attaining its goal of one million cruise passenger arrivals during a given season.
The mark was achieved with the arrival of the 4600 capacity Freedom of the Season at Port Zante today.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Lindsay Grant, officials from the ministry, Cabinet members and other government officials were on hand to celebrate the milestone.
To recognize the one million passenger achievement, tourism officials gave one couple – Malory Kohn and Jared Lehman – local tokens, a gift hamper, amongst other perks.
In recognizing the occasion, Grant told reporters that it is a big leap for St. Kitts and Nevis as the one-million-mark lifts the federation to the status as a “marquee port”.
The achievement places St. Kitts above many of the major established ports under the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).
“I think it’s testament to the hard work of the St. Kitts and Nevis public, the taxi drivers, the allure vendors, the craftsmen; the work of the ministry and the Tourism Authority – today is a proud moment,” the minister noted.
Grant posited that the occasion highlights the capability of the people of St. Kitts to produce at the highest level and attracting more calls.
Federico Gonzalez-Denton, Royal Caribbean Representative, pointed to the positives that his agency has seen exhibited by the Port St. Kitts over the last decade.
He added that St. Kitts has enhanced its product over the last 10 years, noting that it is reflected in the numbers.
“I think the work that has been done over the years to get to this point has been amazing,” he stated.
Asked by SKNVibes about the strategy used to attain the mark, Minster Grant disclosed that they have lobbied and engaged agencies such as Royal Caribbean at various events to push the local product on the international market.
“The strategy is very simple, every year we venture and put our booths out and we get in front of the cruise lines, all of them, to tell them what we are going to be doing over the next year… The good thing is that when we go we go as a team.”
For the cruise year 2017/2018, Port St. Kitts received 102 ships from Royal Caribbean, with the Freedom of the Seas being the latest to call.