Saturday, December 16, 2017
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Statement on the St. Kitts Cruise Sector



Taxi-ProtestThe Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority continue to work with all of the stakeholders to grow the cruise sector, and of course improve the quality of the guests’ experience on our lovely island.


It is a partnership that we truly value, with the intention of ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to make a livelihood from operating within the sector.


In February of this year the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism – in collaboration with taxi and tour operators – implemented a new dispatching system to improve operations on Port Zante.


This new system was not intended to be permanent, but a work in progress, to streamline the dispatching of visitors to taxi and tour operators, including those operating open air safaris.


A few taxi operators have publicly raised concerns regarding this system. Those concerns are being addressed, and some have even been resolved to facilitate the development of an even more prosperous tourism cruise sector.


We are in constant dialogue with our stakeholders, which include taxi and tour operators, and our partners, the cruise line executives, on improving the way we do business on Port Zante. 


The intention is to create a system that provides an equal opportunity for everyone to make money. The criticism that we favour the open air safari operators over the taxi operators is inaccurate.


In fact, the below breakout shows clearly that taxi operators, engage in more business on Port Zante, than operators of open air safaris.


This year from the 14th to the 28th February, 3,961 cruise passengers were dispatched to taxis, compared to only 243 cruise passengers, who were dispatched to open air safaris.


From the 1st to the 13th of March, 4,019 visitors were dispatched to taxis, while only 592 visitors were dispatched to open air safaris.


Also, from the 14th to the 31st March, 5,542 visitors were dispatched to taxis, while 1,220 visitors were dispatched to open air safaris.


In total, 13,522 cruise visitors were dispatched to 1,799 taxis, while on the other hand a total of 2,055 cruise visitors were dispatched 155 open air safaris. 


Yes, we do have challenges, however the Ministry of Tourism and the St. Kitts Tourism Authority are working, with close consultation with stakeholders to improve the system.


It is a work in progress, and for the system to progress we must listen to each other, and work together to improve on the way we do business.


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