This was revealed by the Manager of the St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel & Tourism Association, Michael Head, who was at the time making a presentation at the recently held National Consultation on the Economy.
Speaking on behalf of the Hotel & Tourism Association, Head said used the occasion to highlight the importance of tourism to the economy.
He said the survey, conducted by Oxford University, shows that tourism is the most important industry on St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Tourism currently employs 6,000 persons, 26.7% of the economic workforce in 2010 and by 2021 that will increase to 8,000, and 32.3% of the economic workforce. Tourism investment in 2010 equaled EC$ 91.3m representing 17.1% of total investment and in 2021 this is scheduled to rise to EC$ 138.4m or 20.8% of total investment”, said the HTA representative.
Tourism generated EC$252.8m in 2010 and stands to rise to EC$417.0m or 44.5% in 2021, said Head.
Mr. Head told the public, that with all the facts and figures that he gave, he strongly feels that more money should be made available to promote tourism of St. Kitts and Nevis, in an effort to meet demands.
“Ever since the Americans had to have passports to travel, they have the world open to them, in fact which ever nation we talk about has the world open to them. No longer is it difficult to choose any part of the world to have a vacation however long or short it may be”, said Mr. Michael.
He went on to say that the contributions made to the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund by persons seeking citizenship should be increased to help pay for tourism promotion in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We at the HTA believe that crime has to be brought under control, urgently and we wish the new commissioner all the best in doing this. It is the modern media that so easily posts details of crimes for the whole world to see that can so easily deter potential visitors from visiting our shores for their long awaited Vacation.”
“I received an e mail from the US embassy in Barbados declaring that St Kitts has the highest per capita crime rate in the world” said Mr. Head.
He said he hoped with new strategies the tourism product can be allowed to further develop into the force that is required to allow it to make an even higher contribution to GDP and the country as a whole.