Jul 06

A recent study by United States research firm Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) has placed St Kitts among the highest-rated cruise destinations in the entire Caribbean for the 2011—2012.

According to BREA, the most dramatic increases over the six-year period were in direct cruise tourism spending, which increased nearly ten-fold from US$6.7 million to US$70.6 million over the six-year period.

Average per passenger expenditures in St Kitts have almost doubled since 2006, while average expenditures across the Caribbean have actually declined by two per cent. Average per passenger spend in St Kitts was measured at US$57.40 in the 2006/2007 cruise year, 40 per cent below the Caribbean average, but increased to $108.90 in the 2011/2012 cruise year, 14 per cent above the Caribbean average.

BREA reports substantial growth in cruise passenger arrivals to St Kitts, which increased from 117,000 in the 2005/2006 cruise year to 629,000 in the 2011/2012 cruise year, an increase of more than 400 per cent as compared to an increase of 13 per cent throughout the Caribbean over the six-year period. “St Kitts’ recent outstanding performance in the cruise sector is directly attributable to several initiatives undertaken by Government following the decision to end sugar production in 2005,” said Minister of Tourism and International Transport Ricky Skerritt.

“The improvements in downtown Basseterre, the development of shops, restaurants and key attractions, and the increasing the number of certified taxi and tour operators in anticipation of demand growth, have clearly had a very positive impact on the experience that St Kitts offers to visitors.” The Tourism Minister also pointed to the role of the St Christopher Tourism Authority Prescribed Areas Act which he said, “ushered in the establishment of a greater focus on standards, which were integral to the phenomenal success achieved by St Kitts in a relatively short time.”

The percentage of passengers reporting that they there were extremely or very satisfied with their overall St Kitts shopping experience was 74 per cent in the 2011/2012 cruise year as compared to just 47 per cent in the 2005/2006 cruise year. For the 2011/2012 cruise year, results of the study show that St Kitts ranks No. 2 in the Caribbean in passenger satisfaction with their overall visit and No. 2 in passengers reporting that their visit to St Kitts met or exceeded their expectations. The destination also ranked at No. 3 in the Caribbean in passenger satisfaction with their shore excursion, at No. 4 in average expenditure per passenger and at No. 6 in total cruise passenger expenditures.

The BREA study was conducted under the auspices of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association to analyse the contribution of cruise tourism on the economies of 21 destinations located in the Caribbean and Central and South America including Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; the Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; the British Virgin Islands; the Cayman Islands; Columbia; Costa Rica; Curacao; Dominica; The Dominican Republic; Grenada; Honduras; Nicaragua; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St Kitts and Nevis; St Maarten; St Vincent and the Grenadines; The Turks and Caicos; the US Virgin Islands.

Jul 06

The Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court takes great pride in announcing the conferment of the prestigious honour of Dame Commander in the Order of the British Empire upon The Honourable Chief Justice Janice Mesadis Pereira by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for her sterling contributions in facilitating the advancement of justice.

An announcement in the London Gazette of 7th May 2013 states, “THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointment to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Order of the British Empire (Civil Division) DBE To be an Ordinary Dame Commander of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order: The Honourable Mrs. Justice (Janice Mesadis) PEREIRA, Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.”

The DBE is one of the five classes (in civil and military divisions) of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) established on 4th June 1917 by King George V. The Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) (counterpart to Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) is the second in seniority of the classes, and allows (but not prescribes) the postulant to use the title “Dame” before her first name.

Her Ladyship, Chief Justice Janice Pereira created history on 24th October 2012, when she was sworn in as the first female Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court since the institution’s establishment in 1967. Letters Patent were issued by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, effective 28th September 2012.

The Judges and Administrative and Support Staff of the Court offer heart-felt congratulations to Dame Janice on this well-deserved honour; and for her many years of service to the people of the OECS


first published on www.eccourts.org

Jul 12

St Kitts and Nevis is so tiny that it is often difficult to find on a world map. It is a federal two-island state in the West Indies, the smallest sovereign state in the Americas, in both area and population. However, the government has nonetheless created a nation, and society of very high standards — complete respect for human rights; no political prisoners; free, fair, and regular elections; 98 per cent literacy; world-class air, sea, and telecommunications infrastructure and consistently positive reviews by the IMF and other international financial institutions. The country’s Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr Denzil L. Douglas shared his thoughts in an interview with Khaleej Times in Dubai.

The excerpts:

What steps are being taken to expand ties between St Kitts and Nevis and the UAE?

The establishment of formal diplomatic relations with the UAE, and our appointment of a Consul General in Dubai are concrete steps that we have taken to strengthen the ties between the UAE and our federation. We expect that these important initiatives will play a catalytic role in fostering cultural ties, investment flows, trade in goods and services (especially tourism and possibly offshore education services) and strengthen cultural ties between the two countries.

Do you believe that St Kitts and Nevis can be a gateway for companies from the UAE?

Certainly. St Kitts and Nevis is ideally located in that it is very close to North American, South American and Caribbean nations. We also speak English as our mother tongue and we are in the same time zone as many American and Canadian cities. We are therefore well placed to act as a bridge or gateway between the UAE and the Western Hemisphere, especially in relation to investment and trade in goods and services.

Could you elaborate on the economic citizenship programme? How would you screen applicants for St Kitts Nevis economic citizenship?

All applicants are subject to very thorough due diligence investigations to confirm the accuracy of the information and documents that they submit in support of their application, to ensure that they have not been involved in any criminal activities (including money laundering and terrorist financing), and to satisfy the Government of St Kitts and Nevis that they are fit and proper persons for citizenship and are not likely to bring disrepute to our federation.

The islands are beautiful. What is your government doing to prioritise travel and tourism in St Kitts and Nevis?

We are on a massive drive to enhance our tourism-related infrastructure and to allocate more resources to the marketing of our destination. We believe that the expansion of our ties with other nations such as the UAE and the continuation of the citizenship by Investment Programme, will give St Kitts and Nevis more visibility internationally.

St Kitts has a lot to offer in terms of places that corporations would want to invest. How are you planning to attract foreign direct investment?

We have very generous tax and duty concessions that would be attractive to foreign investors. In addition we have legislation providing for a range of corporate vehicles that facilitate investment in or from St Kitts and Nevis. These include companies, exempt companies, IBC’s, trusts, foundations and captive insurance companies.

Do you see St Kitts and Nevis evolving as a trading hub in the next decade?

The focus in St Kitts and Nevis is on the development of services, especially financial, investment and educational services. But we certainly believe that as we foster closer ties with countries such as the UAE, we could emerge as an important hub in respect to trade links between such countries and North and South America.

What further steps are you taking to advance business relationships?

We analyse the global landscape very carefully, and identify nations and business interests where we think the potential exists for true symbiosis. Once we identify these possibilities we explore them and attempt to establish mutually beneficial relationships. And then of course, as you would imagine, foreign businesses often take the initiative on their own as well. In those cases, we undertake our due diligence, and then proceed from that point.