St. Kitts prepares for tourism boomPOSTED: 10/19/15 12:34 PM
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS – The completion of four major developments in the tourism industry in St. Kitts and Nevis by 2018 is expected to generate hundreds of job opportunities for the local population.
That’s according to Minister of Tourism Lindsay Grant who identified several of those projects, including Kittitian Hill which should have 84 rooms by December; Park Hyatt St. Kitts, an ultra-luxury 5-star resort hotel which will be the first of its brand in the Caribbean and will feature 136 rooms and open in 2016; Embassy Suites by Hilton, a 226-suite hotel scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2017; and the scheduled completion of Radisson Hotel in 2017 and Koi Resorts in 2018.
“I believe there is no other industry that will create the jobs over the next 24 months like the tourism sector,” Grant said. “If the hotels come on stream as they should come on stream in the next 24 months, that’s going to take up an additional 1,500 jobs. That is by no means a small portion of our working community.”
To ensure that people are well trained and prepared to meet the challenges of working in the service industry, Grant said, government is exploring the establishment of a hospitality school. He said the plans were at “an advanced stage.”
“This school of excellence is going to have to train the entire tourism industry of St. Kitts and Nevis,” the minister added, noting that would include bartenders, wait staff, receptionists, chefs, landscapers, taxi drivers, vendors, store owners and others.
The vision is to have the facility become a center of excellence that attracts people from the rest of the Caribbean.