Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year

The year 2021 began with so much uncertainty for the tourism industry and the Caribbean islands, but despite the pandemic St. Kitts and Nevis tourism success has been quite phenomenal. One of such success stories is the management and drive of tourism at St. Kitts and Nevis during a turbulent year. This drive was spearheaded by no other than St. Kitts Minister of Tourism, Lindsay F.P. Grant. His impeccable leadership has been recognized by Caribbean Journal annual Caribbean Travel Awards. Lindsay Grant has been named the Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year.

Caribbean Tourism Minister of the Year; Lindsay F.P. Grant.

Minister Grant phenomenal work during the most challenging periods of the pandemic positioned the Federation as the premier destination where international air and sea travelers can enjoy a safety conscience Caribbean escape. This involved working judiciously with the Federation’s health officials to manage tourism protocols for both air and sea arrivals.

Nevis is now suitably positioned for a strong winter travel season. Reopening to travelers’ post-outbreak while using measured approaches, is now paying huge dividends for the island.

Government and health officials of the St. Kitts and Nevis joined the entire country in enacting stringent coronavirus safety measures, such as visitors quarantine protocols, as the pandemic unfolded.

The Islands modern and updated website shows an increased visitor access to Nevis via new daily flights between Miami International Airport and Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport in St. Kitts.

A bold statement to the rest of the world is that the Caribbean isn’t just the world’s tourism leader for warm-weather destination; it’s also undoubtedly the most resilient place on earth. It is quite a marvel that despite the unprecedented global circumstance brought abought by the pandemic, the vast majority of the Caribbean roared back in 2021. The summer, for most destinations, had skyrocketing visitor numbers and the highest-volume tourism season in history, with surging hotel rates and even higher revenues.

The Caribbean cannot be defeated, taking into consideration every challenge these islands faced ranging from pandemics to hurricane to storms and rising waves etc., while using their strength to power a new desired future. According to Grant, “The future is bright in the Federation. We have recently lifted our mandatory arrival testing and Vacation in Place (quarantine) for international air travelers and we have opened Port Zante for free-flow exploration. This week is the busiest we have seen for cruise arrivals since the island reopened its borders to international visitors, with 21 ships in port this week. We also expect to have continued growth in our stay-over international air travelers looking to 2022.”

This was buttressed by Jadine Yarde, CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority, “We want to be strategic because we understand that we’re not a mass destination product. That’s not what we sell. But our numbers have been doing okay. I think now with the 24-hour [quarantine] reduction, there have been a lot more inquiries and that is obviously very important for us. The 2022 season is looking very promising so the more properties that we can open the more properties visitors can get to know”

Just like every other country in the world, the Island of St. Kitts and Nevis has had a challenging year. However, the resilience and meticulous approach to the pandemic, saw them through. St. Kitts has one of the highest rates of vaccination of any country as about 71 percent of the adult population is vaccinated. “We have a small community of people. We want to make sure that we keep them and any person visiting the destination safe. That was really important for us. Also, we understand how important it is to get back to, I won’t say normalcy, but understanding our new way of dealing and interacting with people and being able to live and travel,” said Jadine Yarde.

“I am extremely honored to receive this exceptional designation from our esteemed colleagues at Caribbean Journal who designated these travel awards,” said Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports. “St. Kitts and Nevis has shown how strong and resilient the people of the Caribbean are and continue to be as we navigate these challenging times together.” Each year, the Caribbean Journal editorial staff selects these awards based on the destination and success over the past year The Caribbean Travel Awards eighth annual edition celebrates the destinations, properties, places and people that exemplify the best of the magnificent Caribbean region. __M.E.