MARIGOT, St. Martin — St. Kitts reported a 14% rise in stayover visitors from North America through August, according to Ricky Skerritt, minister of tourism.

The destination projects a 20% increase in cruise visitors during the upcoming cruise season, which begins in October.

"This will mark the fifth consecutive year of arrivals growth in the cruise sector," Skerritt said. "Based on bookings thus far, St. Kitts has forecast that 650,000 cruise passengers will arrive in St. Kitts by September 2012."

Further development of onshore attractions and the prospect of a second cruise pier at Por Zante are expected to continue to fuel the development of cruise tourism for the island.

Skerritt's remarks came during the Caribbean Tourim Organization's first State of the Industry Conference in St. Martin, Sept. 15-17.

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