Photo: Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant

By: Spokesman Newsroom

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts- Minister of Tourism Lindsay Grant has shared that the hotel and resort projects started under the former Labour Party administration are not progressing quickly enough to the stage of completion under the new government.

He made the disclosure while fielding questions from local reporters following the recent website launch and tourism update event hosted by the St.Kitts Tourism Authority on Thursday 28th September at the St. Kitts Marriott Hotel in Frigate Bay.

Having provided details that the damage done to the Caribbean due to the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria poses a threat to the 2017-2018 cruise ship industry in St.Kitts- Nevis, Grant was then asked about land based tourism activity.

“Land based side, they are not progressing as quickly as we would wish them to progress but business is business so we have to work with the developers, urge them, encourage them (and) engage to see if we can  come within the times lines designated  by the government.”

Grant added: “but you know how business is. It’s all about the flow of money and so we work with them on a regular basis to bring them into a whole collective environment of the tourism industry.”

Additionally, he talked about the slow pace at the Embassy Suites, Koi Residences and Ramada.

“And so the Embassy Suites you know, you can see it’s been slow-paced for a long time. We have the development (T-Loff) right here in the Frigate Bay area that’s also been slow.”

He further stated: “Koi- the last time I spoke with them- they said they are set to come on base (by) December. Whether or not that is still feasible, I don’t know but we are working with them. Ramada, on the western portion of the island, is going but slow again so it’s the vagaries of business which we have to be practical about. We would wish it to finish tomorrow but that’s not the reality of life and so we have to work with what we have and life is a struggle as we have in our own personal lives so we struggle with them.”

Replying to a follow-up question, Grant commented on how such a slow-pace situation would affect ability to arrange for airlift in timely manner, he pointed out that the hurricane ravaged island of Puerto Rico is no longer a home port on the regional scene noting that in regard to St.Kitts-Nevis “we don’t have the hotel stock and so that’s challenged.”

He then revisited earlier comments made about a collective approach to fill the void left by following the destruction to Puerto Rico by hurricane Maria.

The Tourism Minister, this week, left the Federation for Miami where he along with Prime Minister of St. Lucia and the Ministry of Tourism in Antigua are expected to have discussions with cruise line officials in Miami in hopes of crafting a plan of action for the cruise ship season.

Grant, in the recent media interview, said: “Our hearts go out to the people of the region. We don’t want to benefit from the tragedy of others but the reality is we have to do something. Do we sit down and do nothing because some suffer? No- we try to do our best to fill the void for them because at the end of the day our success is their success and the region’s success and that’s what we are approaching.”