NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (APRIL 07, 2017) — The following is a speech delivered by Hon. Mark Brantley, Deputy Premier of Nevis and Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration on April 06, 2017, to herald in the official start of Exposition Nevis 2017.
The Ministry of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) takes great pleasure in presenting the second iteration of Exposition Nevis. This is our annual month of awareness activities with the general tagline ‘All Things Tourism’. As you may recall, our specific theme for last year was ‘Savour the Flavour’ but this year, we have chosen as our theme ‘Sustainability is Our Responsibility’.
Exposition Nevis 2017, will run from April 06 to May 20. The timing for Exposition Nevis was strategically chosen and positioned, just at the shoulders of our high season, an initiative that will help to reduce the impact of seasonality on our tourism industry. The main objectives for Exposition Nevis are as follows:
– to showcase the dynamic, authentic and multi-faceted nature of the Nevis Tourism product
– to increase awareness and appreciation among locals and stakeholders of the uniqueness and accomplishments of the Nevis tourism industry
– to offer an opportunity for the Ministry of Tourism and its many stakeholders to have more visibility in terms of their roles and functions
– to emphasize domestic tourism
– to expose youths to the many career opportunities in the tourism industry
– to provide added mileage to pre-existing community based and corporate tourism events such as the Nevis Blues Festival, the Barnes Ghaut Breadfruit Festival, the Kite Flying Competition, the Jessups Community and Hanley’s Road Fishing Events and the Bobby Island Regatta
– to provide an opportunity to locals and visitors to be engaged in the Nevisian tourism experience.
As I said before, the theme for this year’s Exposition Nevis is ‘Sustainability is our Responsibility’. This theme is timely for several reasons. Firstly, the theme fits in the context of the declaration by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) that 2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Secondly, sustainability is the cornerstone of Nevis’ tourism product development framework and is encapsulated in our development agenda.
Expressed simply, sustainable tourism can be defined as:
“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. Sustainable tourism must use resources responsibly, to meet our current needs while at the same time, ensuring that these resources, where possible, are left available for future generations.
A sustainable approach to tourism, must improve the quality of life of the local community, provide a high quality of experience for the visitor and maintain the quality of the environment on which both the host community and the visitor depend. This means that we, as a people, must buy and eat local, appreciate and respect local culture, save energy and respect our Nevisian heritage.
Sustainable tourism requires a delicate balance of people, planet and profit, better known as the triple bottom line. In simpler words, we must ensure that Nevisians benefit economically from tourism, that’s the profit, while at the same time ensuring that our culture and heritage are well protected and preserved, that’s the people but making sure none of our tourism development harms the environment, that’s our planet.
I must remind us, that our island is marketed under the tagline ‘Nevis Naturally’ and this speaks to the emphasis that the Nevis Island Administration has placed on sustainable tourism, whether it be our relentless pursuit for green energy, ensuring that our historical sites are preserved and showcased or through promoting tourism education from primary to tertiary levels, to ensure that our youths understand the critical importance of their role in sustainability.
Responsibility, is a critical concept for our Exposition Nevis theme that must be emphasized. Tourism is everyone’s business, not just the government or the taxi drivers or the hoteliers. Everyone, without exception, has a role to play in ensuring that tourism development on Nevis is sustainable.
It could be as simple as not littering our beautiful island or sharing the history and uniqueness of your village to visitors or even turning off that light when no one is in the room. These simple actions demonstrate care of the environment, care about our traditions and will translate in economic gains for our people, as increasingly, tourists are drawn towards destinations where sustainability is emphasized.
The Ministry of Tourism has put together an exciting and varied calendar of events to showcase the wide array of sustainable tourism activities that can be found on Nevis. These events will be widely advertised and will occur throughout the months of April and May starting with the Nevis Blues Festival on Friday April 07 and the Barns Ghaut Festival on Saturday April 08, 2017.
As I close, I must pause to remember and reflect upon the immense contribution of our late Permanent Secretary, Mr Carl Williams and to express the Ministry’s profound gratitude for his many, many years of service.
May we remember his passion for sustainability and the promotion of all things Nevisian. He truly loved his island, his country. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
As Minister of Tourism in the Nevis Island Administration, I take this opportunity to declare Exposition Nevis 2017, officially open and to encourage one and all, to participate in the activities that have been created for your enjoyment and education.
I must also thank the hardworking staff at the Ministry for their commitment to this initiative which will require many tiring hours beyond the call of duty.
Let us all embrace Exposition Nevis 2017 – All things Tourism – Sustainability is indeed our Responsibility.
I thank you.