The government of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has just announced the completion of the twin islands’ new cruise pier at Port Zante. With the opening of the port’s second pier, Port Zante, located on St. Kitts, can now simultaneously host up to three of the world’s largest cruise ships.
With a resident population of just 55,000, this small yet ambitious Caribbean nation can now claim the marquee status held by many of the region’s larger passenger cruise-ship destinations. It’s a prudent expansion, considering that the islands have welcomed one million passengers during each of the past two cruise seasons—a milestone visitor volume for the diminutive destination.
The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), which met with officials in St. Kitts and Nevis this week to discuss further development of the country’s cruise sector, believes that these islands will soon become the Caribbean destination where cruise-goers choose to spend the most money. According to FCCA’s president, Michele Paige, her organization estimates that this could become a reality with the next three years.
Commenting on the FCCA’s visit, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Tourism Minister Lindsey Grant, said: “Our meetings ensure that we understand the needs of the cruise lines and their passengers, receive feedback on our service standards and guest experience, and provide insight into cruise industry trends, such as new ships and itineraries for upcoming seasons, all of which will help us to remain competitive as a premier cruise destination moving forward.”
The USD $48-million port expansion project was financed through local sources, with USD $5 million coming from the country’s Citizenship by Investment Program, which has proven highly successful in raising foreign direct investment. Through legislation established back in 1984, the program enables folks from around the world to essentially buy citizenship in St. Kitts and Nevis without the need to prove any previous connection to the islands, or pass any linguistic or cultural examinations. Applicants must, however, pass all due diligence checks prior to consideration for the program.
Currently, the most direct and affordable route to citizenship is through the CBI’s Sustainable Growth Fund, which requires an investment of at least USD $150,000. The initiative, created last year by Prime Minister Timothy Harris, offers an optional Accelerated Application Process (AAP), which enables eligible applicants to secure St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship within 60 days.
For more information, visit stkittstourism.kn.
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