BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - WITH the perceived influx of tourists’ arrival in St. Kitts and Nevis during the period of Thanksgiving, Minister of Tourism Lindsay Grant is reassuring that there is safe room capacity for all visitors to the Federation.
There are currently 400 rooms available with a further 300 expected to come on stream in the coming days and weeks, with the current stock of rooms available across the Four Seasons Resort, Paradise Beach, Park Hyatt and Royal St. Kitts.
During his presentation in Parliament, the Minister of Tourism disclosed that the Federation’s current hotel room inventory for international travellers consists of 188 rooms at the Four Seasons, 40 at Paradise Beach, 114 at the Park Hyatt and 56 rooms at the Royal St. Kitts.
The further 300-room inventory is expected to begin coming on stream from tomorrow (Nov. 21) when the Marriott Beach Vacation Club opens with 88 rooms, while the Koi Resort will open on December 4 with 102 rooms and will open on December 15 with 75 rooms.
Grant also announced that an additional 30 rooms in villas, condos and apartments would see the sector heading into peak season with a total stock of 693 rooms approved for international visitors.
With the borders reopened for travellers, the Minister reminded that with this being the peak travel season, the threat of the COVID-19 once again reaching the shores of St. Kitts and Nevis remains high.
That threat comes as all of the Federation’s travel source markets - Europe, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean - are all grappling with growing cases of the deadly Novel Coronavirus.
“Mr. Speaker, the US surpassed its own records of new cases and deaths last week and the fall surge of the Coronavirus continues to run rampant across a great part of the country. Public health officials are cautioning against large family gatherings over the holidays, as Americans plan to celebrate with only family members living in the household or by travelling to “get away” from it all. Airlines are adding domestic and Caribbean capacity to handle the increased holiday demand; a demand we can see reflected in American’s inbound loads from Miami,” Grant explained.
He added: “Upcoming load factors into St. Kitts are: 77% on Nov. 21; 58% on Nov. 22; 49% on Nov. 25; 50% on Nov. 28; and 60% outbound from St. Kitts to Miami on Nov. 29. Arriving December flights on the 5th and the 12th are 76% and 70 % respectively. We are told by the airlines that they see much shorter booking lead times as travellers wait until the last minute to make decisions, with some last-minute cancellations as well”.
Grant alluded to the challenge with Canada. Though it has successfully limited the continued spread of the ailment, the Ontario Government has implemented strict measures for the current winter season.
“Mr. Speaker, Canada gained recognition for efficiently handling the virus last Spring and Summer, but unfortunately did not escape the Fall surge in cases. Health officials report Thursday was the worst day for new infections since the beginning of the crisis last Spring, particularly in Ontario and Quebec. Experts suggest that a relaxing of the health and safety protocols and large family gatherings in homes for Canadian Thanksgiving may have triggered the spike,” said Grant.