FCCA president expresses strong confidence in tourism sector

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, November 07, 2019 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Team Unity-led Government of St. Kitts and Nevis was this week commended by a top executive of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), Ms. Michele Paige, for its continued thrust towards the advancement of the cruise tourism sector in the twin-island Federation.

Ms. Paige, who is the President of the FCCA, spoke highly of the infrastructural improvements made within the last five years to attract more and larger cruise lines to the ports of St. Kitts and Nevis when she paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris on Tuesday, November 05, 2019.

Chief among these improvements is the construction of the multi-million dollar second cruise pier at Port Zante.

Ms. Paige highlighted as a significant achievement of the St. Kitts and Nevis Government its ability to mobilize local entities to fully finance this major capital project. She indicated to Prime Minister Harris that this is a strong and clear indication that the country is willing to make the necessary investments to ensure its cruise industry remains amongst the best in the world.

The US$48 million second pier, which is now completed, was financed under a syndicate arrangement between four local entities. The four financial players involved were the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank (SKNANB), which committed US$34 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Social Security Board with US$7 million; the St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) added US$5 million, and the St. Kitts and Nevis Trading and Development Company (TDC) committed another US$2 million.

Prime Minister Harris indicated that the investment by the local financial entities shows the confidence and trust the business community has placed in his Team Unity administration.

It was also stated in Tuesday’s meeting that, for the first time in history, St. Kitts and Nevis attained marquee status of attracting over one million cruise passengers to its shores in a single cruise season and achieved this feat for two consecutive years under Team Unity.

In doing so, the Federation became the only destination in the OECS to achieve this milestone. This was achieved in the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons.

Ms. Paige and executives from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Line and MSC Cruises were in St. Kitts and Nevis to attend the FCCA’s Operations Committee Meeting held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on Monday, November 04.