Numbers Encouraging, Says Tourism Minister
According to the Minister of Tourism, tourist arrival figures are up and with increased traffic from larger cruise ships, like the ‘Britannia’ pictured, these figures should increase.
Fri, Dec 02, 2016
This country’s Minister of Tourism - Cecil Mc Kie says that he is encouraged by the figures for 2015, which showed that this country registered a one percent increase in tourist arrivals.
He further stated that the figures for the first eight months of the year were also positive, as they showed that there was an overall 5.7 percent increase.
According to McKie, the increase by air up to August was 6.3 percent and sea, 5.4 percent.
And with the vessel ‘Britannia’, which made its first port call to St Vincent and Grenadines carrying 4,000 passengers and 1,000 crew two weeks ago, Mc Kie said that the overall figures for 2016 already looked promising, particularly with Britannia expected to make nine calls this season.
He added that both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 10 percent increase in visitor arrivals to this country with the completion and operationalization of the international airport at Argyle.
"So, as an industry, as a sector, we have to make sure that we are prepared for this reality,” McKie said.
The international airport would also attract sporting events, and McKie, in reflecting, said that 2016 was a good one for SVG in terms of it playing host to a number of regional sporting events.
And this would most likely increase, he said, with the opening of the international airport.
"We expect that there will be greater opportunities for export, and we have to be prepared right across all of the sectors,” he said. (DD)