…Government working to improve tourism product
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE Ministry of Tourism and the St. Christopher Air and Seaports Authority (SCASPA) are working together to ensure that all facilities and ports of entry are in pristine state ahead of the start of the 2022/2023 tourist season.
For many months, certain facilities at the Robert Llewllyn Bradshaw International Airport were in need of remedial works.
One such facility is at the entrance of the airport where staff members had complained about the presence of mould, which was denied by a top manager despite the circulation of photos and videos confirming the staff members’ complaint.
Additionally, there is a ground concern about the distance passengers have to trek in order to embark and disembark planes.
However, some of the problems will be tackled head-on by the current administration and others will be remedied in the long term.
Minister of Tourism and SCAPA, Marsha Henderson reiterated the need for the Federation to be innovative in its product offering, which includes upgrading of the present infrastructure.
It was against that backdrop she confirmed that SCASPA would carry out remedial works.
“Investment in our infrastructure is a critical element as well as our strategy. The St. Christopher Air and Seaports Authority has advised that important upgrades will be made to the air and seaports.
“At the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw Airport, the large planes are parking at the more western end of the apron. This has resulted in a less than welcoming experience for all air passengers. As Minister, I have taken note,” Henderson said.
The Federation’s airport is one of a few across the region that does not have an air bridge for the bigger planes, which has resulted in passengers travelling on American Airlines, British Airways, Delta and United Airlines being forced to walk under the elements to embark and disembark the planes.
The apron is another challenge at the airport and that is now also being tackled by the Minister, who informed that it is at the top of the list for SCASPA, as they are working expeditiously to have it fixed.
Tender documents are being prepared for awarding the successful contractor in resurfacing of the apron, while works will be done on the escalator and the air conditioned units at the airport by the end of September.
The cruise piers are also set for an upgrade with the dredging of the docking facility, especially the new location which has been at the center of controversy over the last three years, since its completion and unofficial opening.
On completion of the dredging process, the piers are expected to attain the necessary dept to accommodate some of the larger vessels.