Tamika Keane of the New York, Bronx-based Monroe College explained that the aim of her group’s proposal was to showcase the possibility of increasing visitor arrivals through the sugar
industry. Her group hopes that the St. Kitts and Nevis administration would accept the proposal for phase II of an agro-tourism development project.
Her group wants the second phase to include a sugarcane field, factory, a museum, restaurants and shops.
“”We chose sugar and specifically in St. Kitts and Nevis because sugar is phased out and using it as a remembrance of what sugarcane was once known for,” Keane told Demerara Waves Online News.
In a report from New York, the twin-island federation’s Tourism Minister, Sen. Ricky Skerritt said the sugar-tourism proposal that copped first place at Tuesday’s Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s Students Colloquium would have to be “fine-tuned.”
The St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism Minister said the proposal would have to be fine-tuned because the Monroe College students’ proposal does not take into account the cost of implementing such a project.
“They are throwing some concepts of the sugar industry with cutting sugar cane and some other things that no longer exist and you would have to actually create. It involves some costly assets,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.
Skerritt, however, noted that it would still be possible to simulate sugar production closer to a central location rather than in close proximity to existing tourist attractions. “The location of their project is right on the other side of the island from where the sugar factory is so they married some things together that are not necessarily nearby,” he said.
The minister praised the Monroe College students for seeking to perpetuate the sugar culture of the federation, saying that their proposal is similar to the Taiwan-funded agro-tourism project in rural St. Kitts.
The two-year project, which began three months ago, is being implemented on 22 acres of land. Indigenous fruits and vegetables and Chinese medicinal herbs from both St Kitts and Nevis, and Taiwan will be planted on the site of a former sugar cane plantation, Sir Gillies.