Nevis preparing for a robust cruise and stay-over tourist season
On Thursday, November 17, 2022, Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), announced that the first cruise ship of the season, the luxury vessel Star Flyer, is scheduled to call on Nevis on November 27.
“The cruise season for us will start with our first call on November 27 when the Star Flyer will dock in the waters off Charlestown. Between November 2022 and April 2023 we expect 47 cruise calls, which are scheduled to bring just over 18,000 visitors to our shores.”
December will see eleven cruise ships calling on Nevis, including two-ship days on December 11 and December 29. With St. Kitts predicting over 1 million cruise passenger arrivals for the 2022-2023 season, Nevis is also expected to benefit from those tourists taking day-trips to the island.
The Premier reminded however that Tourism authorities on Nevis are more focused on attracting stay-over visitors to island, which benefits local hotels and businesses alike.
“We have never invested in the cruise industry on the island of Nevis; that has not been our mainstay. Nevis’ tourism model has always been based on what we call ‘heads in beds’. Our mainstay has always been trying to attract people to stay at our hotels because we feel that is where we get more bang for our buck, and I’m very pleased that our hotels are reporting very robust bookings for the season and I’m hopeful that absent some natural disaster or other difficulty that that will bear spectacular fruit for all the stakeholders in tourism. But our cruise industry, small as it is, is still relevant to us because it gives particularly stakeholders like taxi drivers an opportunity.
“On Wednesday Pinneys Beach had well over 300 visitors to the beach from individuals who would have come from St. Kitts, and so the bars and the restaurants at Pinneys are doing robust business based on that as well. So we expect to benefit from the large number of cruise passengers coming into St. Kitts for the day-trippers and the people who want to come over and experience Nevis,” he said.
In preparation for the 2022-2023 cruise season the Ministry of Tourism will be hosting a training seminar for all taxi operators on the island of Nevis on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at the Nevis Performing Arts Theatre (NEPAC). The Ministry, in an effort to accommodate more taxi operators, will host a morning session from 8:30 and an afternoon session from 2 o’ colck.
The NIA, Ministry of Tourism, and the two taxi associations on Nevis are in consultation to revise the taxi rates, which have not been adjusted since 2007.
Premier Brantley said the new rates are expected to be finalized and published in time for the high season, noting that once the proposed new rates are ratified taxi operators will be required by law to abide by the official taxi fare guide.