BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – A top tourism official in Antigua says that St. Kitts and Nevis is now a leading cruise destination in the OECS.
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According to Antigua and Barbuda’s Caribarena, Head of Antigua and Barbuda’s Cruise Tourism Association, Nathan Dundas, recalled that a few years ago, Antigua & Barbuda was number one in the OECS in cruise tourism.
“However, the country has been surpassed by islands like St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Maarten,” Caribarena reported Dundas as saying.
Dundas said Antigua was one of the first ports to have four cruise ship berths designated to accommodate cruise ships in St John’s.
But vessels, he said, are passing Antigua and going to other destinations.
“We have been saying it for years… we have to grow with the industry. Cruise tourism is the fastest growing tourism industry in the world,” Dundas said. “There is no ifs and there is no buts about it, it’s the fastest growing and the most dynamic industry in tourism.”
The Antigua and Barbuda Cruise Tourism Association head pointed out that St Kitts’ cruise tourism industry started in the 1990′s, long after Antigua & Barbuda, yet St. Kitts is predicting 700,000 passengers by the end of the year.
Antigua & Barbuda peaked in 2009 with 711,000 passengers, which showed that we had the capacity to grow, “but something happened along the line in terms of us keeping up that momentum that we built up over the years.”
Dundas said the cruise lines would be coming out with 26 new ships over the next five years, and the country should be ready to benefit from the multi-billion dollar industry.
The Caribbean, Dundas said, has about 40 percent of the cruise tourism market, with Antigua & Barbuda at the top of the game in terms of the numbers and getting and creating opportunities for the people to benefit from the industry.
Dundas said the industry has grown to a great extent over the years with the construction of the four berths and tour operators offering new attraction sites. Read more here!
Created Oct 14 2013 – 12:16pm