By Caribbean News Global contributor
BASSETERRE, St Kitts – Prime Minister Timothy Harris announced that St Kitts and Nevis announced would be reopening its borders for international tourism in October 2020, and will allow for the continuation of air and commercial sea traffic carrying international passengers into the Federation’s ports.
The phased reopening is being implemented in partnership with the twin-islands chief medical officer, other medical experts while major hotels remain committed partners to the tourism sector.
Minister of tourism Lindsay Grant, said: “The St Kitts Tourism Authority, the Nevis Tourism Authority, and the ministry of tourism, in conjunction with the ministries of health and civil aviation, is conducting […] training exercises for over 5,000 tourism industry stakeholders, including hotels at no cost to them.”
According to minister Grant, approximately 300 individuals have already been trained to educate stakeholders on the health and safety protocols and standards that must be met to obtain the “Travel Approved” certification and seal from the respective Tourism Authority that will be required for them to operate.
Tourism is a major pillar of the economy and was on the rise before COVID-19. The sector is expected to retain its trajectory, support by the dual islands’ Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
“When the CBI programme was first formulated, it was intended to provide our country a new pathway for economic development,” Prime minister Harris explains. “We have seen the benefits of that vision being realised, with significant job creation opportunities, high earnings for persons involved in the construction sector, the addition of some top-class hotel facilities […] We are looking at new areas of engagement for the CBI programme and new areas in which we can target to invest CBI flows, and agriculture diversification would certainly be one of these,” the prime minister added.
In July 2020, the government announced a new time-limited offer that enables a family of up to four to contribute US$150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund, instead of the usual US$195,000. This applies only to the fund option, which remains the fastest route to second citizenship.