Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 27, 2019 (SKNIS): The 2019 National Best Village Competition speaks directly to sustainable tourism and raises the standard and quality of the tourism sector, says Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, speaking at a small ceremony held on September 25 at the St. Kitts Eco Park to hand over 400 plants to 33 community groups to aid in the beautification initiative.
Minister Grant stated that persons should be aware that visitors who come to St. Kitts and Nevis each year have been invited as guests. He stated that this is achieved by marketing the islands as a prime tourist destination.
“Our government and the private sector stakeholders, together we spend millions and millions of dollars on marketing to make sure people come to St. Kitts from the Caribbean, from the USA, from Canada and from Europe and beyond to choose our destination over the numerous other destinations that they can choose. We are competing for their attention,” he said.
The minister stated that while the guests are on island they expect to learn interesting stories about the country’s heritage, engage positively with the friendly people of the island, experience the best elements of the country’s rich culture, and enjoy the natural and man-made blessings of the twin-island Federation.
He added that the invited guests expect to meet a safe, clean, beautiful environment and country.
“And that is where you come in. [You ensure] that our destination will provide them a valuable and affective retreat from the daily stresses from where they come,” he said. “In exchange for this or visitors are prepared to pay us for the value they received and the personal enrichment that they feel during their visit.”
The tourism minister noted that whether our guests come to the island as hotel condominium visitors or villa guests, cruise passengers or as international students, “they all want to feel special, to be treated special, and expect to see a clean and welcoming community all across our island.”
“So the best village competition indeed speaks to the beautification of our villages and as a people you must come to fully appreciate that tourism is everybody’s business,” said Minister Grant. “As a matter of fact, tourism is our number one business and so we have to nurture it, care for it, and make sure we keep it for prosperity for the people who would come after us.”
He added that equally the nation must understand that it has a responsibility, “and that responsibility is not only to our large hotels, to the wealthy guests that may come, as important as they are, but our product and our tourism are primarily about our people and our communities. It is really about you.”
The minister stated that the 2019 National Best Village competition similarly is meant to educate the populace about the development of tourism. “It is the responsibility not only of the government, but it is the responsibility of all of us.”
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