But of greater concern has been the dwindling earnings that are expected from this sector of economic activity.
They have therefore tried to double their efforts to attract new investments as a means of boosting their revenue, creating employment and providing opportunities for ancillary services.
In St. Kitts and Nevis the Ministry of Tourism has already made known its objectives to achieve sustainable development in the midst of growth and improvement, improving the Ministry’s customer focus and service quality, developing and facilitating new commercial relationships and growing existing smart partnerships with key stakeholders, locally and internationally and managing financial and other resources and capital assets more efficiently and transparently. These are what, according government sources, help to influence public policy and programmes.
Ministry officials have also noted that globalisation and increased economic pressures have resulted in changes in the way business has to be done, suggesting that moving forward requires smarter work, and more strategic deployment of resources than ever before.
The country’s Tourism Minister, Richard Skerritt has admitted that success also requires a greater need for knowledge and skill than in the past. The use of appropriate technology and on-going training of key employees is therefore critical, explained Skerritt.
Skerritt has pointed out that the Federation’s small domestic population and the shoulder months for tourism arrivals of May, September and October, continue to adversely affect the viability of international airlift.
For the government, explained the minister, establishing and sustaining direct airlift to and from our destination requires innovative government financial investment, including minimum revenue guarantees and other similar agreements.
It is now realized that without adequate airlift it is becoming extremely difficult to remain competitive in key tourism markets.
This is what has influenced the local government to put in place some plans to ensure growth in visitor arrivals and expenditure, and to facilitate new and on-going direct capital investment initiatives from local and foreign sources.
Skerritt said the ministry aims to coordinate vital and sensitive economic development infrastructure, public and private investment projects, and government policies which relate closely to the national effort to drive the economic transformation objectives forward, in the midst of an extremely challenging global economic environment.
“In so doing, our Ministry will adhere to sustainable tourism best practices and always keep a watchful eye for opportunities to expand the economic and social benefits of tourism throughout our communities,” he stated
The Ministry has promised to promote the empowerment of individuals and groups in communities, especially young people; pursue the requirements for global market competitiveness; develop and maintain high quality products and facilities, as the base for expanding the tourism sector; and promote and establish minimum standards and best practices for customer service as a national culture.