CARIBPR WIRE, Basseterre, St. Kitts, Dec. 07, 2022: Saint Kitts and Nevis is boosting its local hospitality and tourism sector with investments received through its citizenship by investment programme.
This is according to the recently elected Prime Minister of the twin-island federation who concluded a four-day visit to Dubai, from 29 November to 3 December 2022.
Prime Minister Terrance Drew was in the state to engage with important stakeholders including high-level government officials, international investors, government-approved agents and promoters, who play a vital role in promoting and supporting the country’s recently upgraded citizenship by investment programme.
With the country’s citizenship by investment programme undergoing a facelift, Prime Minister Drew said the changes to the programme were not just superficial but would ensure that the programme achieved what it was designed for – strengthening St Kitts and Nevis’ economy.
Traditionally, the economy of the two-island state has depended on the growing and processing of sugar cane, but the impact of decreasing world prices on this commodity over the last few decades has moved the government’s attention to tourism, export-oriented manufacturing, and offshore banking.
Tourism is the mainstay of St Kitts and Nevis’ economy, with the United States, Canada and Trinidad and Tobago being some of its trop trade partners. The travel and tourism sector accounted for one-tenth of the gross domestic product (GPD) in St Kitts and Nevis in 2021 and it is estimated that roughly 200,000 tourists visited the islands in 2009.
With a revamped citizenship by investment programme that will be underpinned by better legislative and administrative oversight, Prime Minister Drew said he was confident that the programme would have even more impact on the country’s tourism sector.
The new cabinet aims to ensure that the destination continues to make strides towards the full resumption of tourism activity, including the return of airlift and cruise ship arrivals, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life of the people of the Federation.
St Kitts and Nevis is committed to enhancing its tourism presence and strengthening the economic impact of the tourism sector.
Recently during November this year, Wonder of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, made its inaugural call to Port Zante in St Kitts and Nevis. The ship from the Royal Caribbean Group brought along nearly 6,500 guests and over 2,000 crew members. This cruise call has also been the fifth inaugural cruise call to St Kitts and Nevis since October 2022.
This year, on November 26, a superyacht named Evrima made its inaugural visit to the island sporting the finest amenities and affluent guests. Evrima accommodates 298 guests and is the first of the yachts to be introduced for the new Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection line. This event maintained St Kitts and Nevis’ reputation as an exclusive destination.
According to the CIA World Factbook, tourists, mainly Americans, come to the island via cruise ships via Port Zante in Basseterre, air travel via Robert L Bradshaw International Airport, and the private airport and private dock for private yachts. St Kitts and Nevis is also home to Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO world heritage site.
The country’s citizenship by investment programme has been instrumental in bringing globally renowned brands such as the Park Hyatt Hotel that has recently been launched in Christophe Harbour in Banana Bay. The country will be looking to use its revamped citizenship by investment programme to develop its hospitality sector further which is a major drawcard not just for tourists, but investors looking for legitimate offshore real estate products to buy into.
Part of the change process has seen consultations with various stakeholders in the St Kitts and Nevis CBI unit who will closely now monitor and ensure that real estate projects funded by the CBI programme are completed. To this end, the government is also seeking out reliable and trustworthy developers who are ready to put capital behind creative and strong projects that will further enhance St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment offering.
St Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment programme stands as the oldest and one of the most trusted programmes of its kind. Since 1984, it has allowed investors and their families to legally obtain citizenship of one of the Caribbean’s most idyllic locations.
St Kitts and Nevis’ citizenship by investment programme has been pivotal in developing other important sectors such as healthcare, business, and education in the nation. With the help of the tourism industry and the citizenship by investment programme, the country has witnessed socio-economic development at a significant pace. Funds generated by the citizenship by investment programme will continue to aid the country in paving the path of development efficiently. Spending on infrastructure has made the country unrecognisable from only 20 years ago – for example there is a thriving cruise ship port complex, and new roads have been built to take pressure off traffic in Basseterre.
Prime Minister Drew was accompanied by a delegation including Marsha Henderson, Minister of Tourism, Attorney-General, Garth Wilkin; Cabinet Secretary Dr Marcus Natta; Sylvester Anthony and Veira Galloway.