Port Zante’s Shopping District
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
January 07, 2010 (CUOPM)
Over two and a half million cruise passengers visited St. Kitts during the past 14 years of the ruling St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration compared to 745,000 in the 15 year tenure of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) government.
This is according to statistics from the Planning Unit in the Ministry of Sustainable.
Between 1996 and 2008, the total number of cruise passengers disembarking numbered 2,561,324,an increase of 343.6 percent when compared to the 745,393 cruise passengers who disembarked during the period 1980 to 1995.
Annual figures between 1996 and 2008, ranged from 78,529 in 1996; 151,475 in 1998; 170,887 in 2000; 259,134 in 2001; 261,607 in 2004; 251,234 in 2007 and 402,201 in 2008.
In the period 1980 to 1995; 5,782 cruise passengers arrived in 1980; 22,836 in 1983; 53,645 in 1988; 36,559 in 1989; 52,834 in 1991; 112,903 in 1994 and 121,028 passengers in 1995.
While it took 15 years for the PAM administration to bring 745,393 cruise passengers to St. Kitts, it took the Labour Administration of Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, 6 years to reach that figure and surpassing it with the arrival of 259,134 passengers and taking the accumulated passenger arrivals over that period to 834,940 in 2001.
Between 1980 and 2008, some 3,306,717 cruise passengers visited St. Kitts and Nevis, with 2,561,324 cruise passengers visiting during the 14 years of the Denzil L. Douglas Administration.
An independent survey carried out on behalf of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) found that tourism pumped US$44 million or EC$118 million into the St. Kitts and Nevis economy during the 2008/2009 cruise year, evidence that that the decision to close the debt-ridden sugar industry in 2005 was a correct one.
The survey-based analysis of the impacts of passenger, crew and cruise line spending was carried out in the 26 cruise destinations during the period May 2008 through April 2009.
The survey indicated that cruise passengers who came ashore spent a total of US$33 million or EC$89.1 million. The crew members who disembarked spent a total US$7.8 million or EC$21.6 million while the cruise lines spent US$3 million or EC$8.1 million in St. Kitts and Nevis during the survey period.
While St. Kitts and Nevis generated US$44 million from cruise tourism, other destinations like Acapulco received US$21 million; Cartagena ( US$24 million); Costa Rica (US$26 million); Curacao (US$39 million); Dominica (US$14.1 million; Dominican Republic (US$23 million); Grenada (US$21 million); St. Vincent and the Grenadines (US$7 million); Trinidad and Tobago (US$2.9 million) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (US$25 million).
St. Kitts and Nevis led 24 of the 29 destinations in terms of average expenditure per cruise passenger of US$99.41 or EC$268.40.
FCCA figures also show based on the survey, that in St. Kitts and Nevis, expenditure in 2009 by each passenger increased to US$33.20 (EC$89.64) compared to US$5.40 (EC$14.50) in 2006, an increase of 514 percent and crew expenditure in St. Kitts and Nevis increased to US$7.80 (EC$21.06) in 2009 compared to US$0.40 (EC$1.08) in 2006, a whopping increase of 1,850 percent.
Expenditure by passengers dropped in Antigua, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia.
Crew visiting St. Kitts and Nevis spent an average of US$142.14 or EC$383.77, the third highest crew expenditure rate among the 29 destinations and the seventh highest among the 29 destinations in total crew expenditures of US$7.8 million or EC$21 million.
Ahead of St. Kitts and Nevis were the United States Virgin Islands (US$152.58); St. Maarten (US$149.45); Puerto Rico (US$138.63), Curacao (US$116.88) and the Cayman Islands (US$108.81).
In other Caribbean destinations spending by crews were Antigua and Barbuda (US$54.16); Aruba US$69.34); Bahamas (US$77.95); Barbados (US$54.26); Dominica (US$56.41); Grenada (US$40.43); Jamaica (US$51.32); St. Lucia (US$37.66); St. Vincent and the Grenadines (US$17.61); Trinidad and Tobago (US$66.95) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (US$61.00).