Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Visitors to the Caribbean island of St. Kitts will soon have more hotels from which to choose.
And, now they can also land their plane at the new private jet terminal, or dock their yacht at the new marina, which, when completed, will be the Caribbean’s largest. (For regular folk, the most convenient way to reach the island is on the weekly seasonal Air Canada flights from mid December to April from Toronto to St. Kitts).
The new Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry and Commerce, Lindsay Grant told members of the media yesterday, the island will have four new major brand hotels within the next 18 to 24 months.
They include Koi Resorts, which will open phase one with 80 rooms by February 2016 and the Park Hyatt (phase one) with 134 rooms opening in the spring of 2016, while the Embassy Suites (with 226 suites) and the Radisson hotel (room numbers unavailable) are both slated to open by 2017.
Meanwhile by the end of this year, Grant said 216 new rooms will be added to the current inventory (112 additional rooms at Kittitian Hill; 54 at Ocean Terrace Inn; and 50 at Royal St. Kitts).
The additional accommodation coincides with an increase in North American air arrivals, which, for the first half of this year were up by 6.7% compared to the same time last year.
St. Kitts is also seeing growth in the cruise sector with the number of cruise passenger arrivals expected to surpass one million (in the 2014/2015 season) for the first time in the island’s history. The figure is expected to increase to 1.2 million during the 2016/2017 season when a second cruise pier is added.
It seems tourists are spending more as well. The most recent Airport Exit Survey conducted in March 2015 found the average per person per day spend on island increased by 20% to $182.
Soon they’ll have more to spend thanks to the St. Kitts Tourist Board’s ‘Save the Tax’ campaign. Visitors can save up to Can$110 per person on taxes when booking a package trip at any St. Kitts hotel or resort in the month of September for travel between Dec. 19, 2015 and April 2, 2016.
For details check aircanadavacations.com.
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