This is according to the minister with responsibility for tourism, Lindsay Grant, who told MiyVue.com that the Sports and Tourism Ministries are working in collaboration to boost the local tourism product, especially for the off-season.
The hosting of cricket matches during the Caribbean Premier League, the presentation of the St. Kitts Music Festival and the showcasing of Nevis’ Culturama mid-year event, all form part of the plan to raise economic activity in the off-months.
“As you know tourism is our number one economic driver, and so we want to ensure that we create a market. We would be speaking to cricket clubs, football clubs to see if they can bring some of their training programs here. Any club that brings in their own followers, you are talking about 200 plus travellers.
“…in collaborating with Shawn Richards, we are ensuring that what we are doing, from now on, is to make sure that we push the sports-tourism product.” Grant stated.
Richards, who is the minister with responsibility for sports in the Federal Cabinet, told the media at the launching of the CPL franchise in St. Kitts and Nevis, that the government has seen sports-tourism as one of the ways government can grow the economy of the Federation.
“Sports-tourism is one of the ways this government intends to help to grow the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, and CPL fits perfectly into that,” Richards posited.
He noted that plans are in place to use the cricket event as a platform to promote upcoming activities in the Federation.
“While we are advertising the music festival, we will also be advertising the cricket. We are also thinking that during the cricket games, we can begin to advertise other activities that would be held in St. Kitts and Nevis,”
He continued, “We have Culturama shortly after, and we have carnival coming up in December. I can say to you that the Minister of tourism and the Ministry of Tourism will be very much involved in helping to advertise CPL. Because they see the benefits sports-tourism,” Richards stated.
Meanwhile, Minister Grant affirmed that the Ministry of Sports and the Ministry of Tourism are working to coordinate strategies in the development of sports-tourism.
“What you usually find happening is that one ministry is doing something and there is no discussion amongst them, and there is a disconnect. We are working to have the dots connected,” the tourism minister noted.
Grant indicated, also, that they have already started promoting the Caribbean Premier League on Tourism’s official website.
The St. Kitts Music Festival runs from the 25th to 27th June, while the Caribbean Premier League bowls into action several days later, from 30th June into July, and Culturama swings into action in July culminating early August.