“The Taxi and Tour Operators Bill came out of the bowels of the people who are in the industry, the taxi men especially and other persons associated with the taxi trade,” advised Premier Parry when he addressed the nation on Tuesday, May 8 on his weekly live radio programme “In Touch With the Premier”, on Choice 105.3 FM and other radio stations.
He credited most of the work to Mr John Hanley, Nevis Tourism Authority’s CEO. After months of meetings and gathering information. The Nevis Island Administration’s Legal Department lent its support to make the Bill ready.
“I want to state to the people of Nevis that this Bill is very important because it is part of the effort to increase tourist traffic to Nevis,” observed Mr.Parry. He added that the new Bill would make sure that taxi drivers mare properly trained, properly licensed, and to ensure there are permanent designated parking areas, among others.
The new Bill will also ensure that the taxi operators know how to promote the island, and the Minister of Tourism hoped that they would do that. “All these things we want to continue to promote the island of Nevis,” he said.
Explaining why the Nevis Heritage and Conservation Trust Ordinance was drafted, Premier Parry said it was as a result of requests that would have been made in the past by the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society, and by others. His government looked around at what was happening in St. Kitts and other islands in the Caribbean, to prepare the Bill for Nevis.
He however lamented the fact that some members of the Opposition began to whisper to the expatriate community, who would have assisted the Nevis Historical and Conservation Society over the years, stating that the government wanted to take away the Historical Society from them.
“I am glad that several of them (expatriates) came to the House and they have now understood that there was no such intention,” reported the Premier. “All the government was seeking to do is to put in place an organization that can attract funding, develop these areas and conserve these areas and also to promote Tourism on the island of Nevis.”
Areas that will be promoted by the Trust will include the Hamilton House, New River Estate yard and buildings, Coconut Walk, Hamilton yard and ruins, Jews Cemetery and Synagogue, Eden Brown yard and ruins, Saddle Hill, Cottle Church, Forthergills Estate yard and Nevisian Village, Fort Charles, Indentured Servants Village and other monuments, buildings and sites which may from time to time be donated to, vested in or acquired by the Trust, and the members of the trust will promote it.
He categorically denied suggestions made by the Opposition that the government was planning to install political ‘hacks’ and civil servants in the new Trust, reminding that the NRP-led administration had already removed government ministers as heads of the Nevis Electricity Company (NEVLEC) and the Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA), adding that it was in the process of doing the same at the Nevis Housing and Lands Development Corporation.