THE CRUISE AND SHIPPING INDUSTRY, SAILING AT FULL SPEED
As a key driver of economic growth, logistics, shipping, and marine services, these play a critical role in the country's strive forward. For this reason, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has made it their mission to improve competitiveness and customer experience. That is why the Government has invested heavily in improving the country's infrastructure and operational efficiency. In addition, these improvements will make it easier for the country to manage more trade, as it imports 95% of its productive resources.
In order to accommodate its burgeoning tourism demand, the St. Christopher Air and Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) is in the process of completing its second cruise pier at Port Zante. As a key vacation destination, St. Kitts and Nevis has continued to improve its ports, guaranteeing that economic growth and increased tourism numbers will continue on an upward trajectory for the foreseeable future.
St. Kitts and Nevis maintained its marquee port status; for the second consecutive cruise season. The destination has welcomed over 1 million cruise passengers and is in line to continue this streak for the 2019 season. According to Mr. Denzil James, CEO of SCASPA, the construction of a second cruise-ship pier, as well as improvement of the existing port, and the rehabilitation of the surrounding facilities, are keys to achieving this objective, and improving the country's competitiveness with regards to the tourism sector.
"SCASPA recognizes that the country's fastest-growing industry is the cruise industry, a major component of/and a primary economic driver for social and economic development of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis," James stated.
At 60 ft wide and 1,795 ft long, the new pier, in conjunction with the previous one will be able to hold up to three Oasis-class ships, some of the world's largest cruise ships. This will not only improve the port's capacity but also improve St. Kitts and Nevis competitiveness within the tourism industry.
On another note, SCASPA has undertaken significant upgrades of other facilities such it's as the Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (RLBIA). The push is due to the record number of arrivals, an increase in airlifts to new outbound destinations. As a result, SCASPA has advocated for improvement in the physical infrastructure that will enhance the logistical flow and tourism experience.
"Gradually, we are becoming a greener airport and will no longer be dependent solely on fossil fuel-powered energy," says James. "We have begun using energy-efficient lighting throughout the airport, solar lighting for the runways at RLBIA." The recommissioning of its solar plant would also significantly reduce SCASPA's carbon footprint.
With a booming tourism sector, St. Kitts and Nevis not only has the third-largest GDP per capita in the Caribbean but is quickly becoming one of its premier destinations for investment. With these improvements, St. Kitts and Nevis continue to make to its sea and air ports, as well as its large number of luxury-brand hotels, the country's potential is endless.
"There will always be important spinoffs and trickle-down effects emerging from these types of milestone projects. As these projects advance, they spur economic activities across all sectors, creating a multiplier effect" extremely beneficial for the country and its population, says James.