CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -- Promoting and expanding tourism this summer
and fall are the short-term goals of the recently created Nevis
Tourism Authority, whose new campaign carries the slogan, "Nevis
Helen Kidd, the authority's chief executive officer, is a
longtime resident who has worked in the hotel and hospitality
industry in Nevis as well as in St. Kitts, Canada and her native
She also served two terms as president of the St. Kitts/Nevis
Hotel Association, was the general manager of four properties on
St. Kitts and Nevis and ran a hospitality marketing firm with
"Hoteliers in Nevis wanted a private-sector tourism
organization," Kidd said, noting the tourism authority includes
four hoteliers, a travel agent, a representative of the
construction industry and a funeral director.
The hoteliers on Nevis' board represent the Four Seasons Nevis
and three plantation inns -- Hermitage, Golden Rock and Mount
The tourism authority is temporarily housed in offices on Main
Street in Charlestown, until restoration is completed on a historic
building which will serve as the authority's permanent office.
"I would like to increase visitor arrivals without jeopardizing
the integrity of Nevisians while protecting the natural environment
of the destination," Kidd said.
Tourism arrivals for St. Kitts and Nevis are not broken out
separately; the most current statistics available indicate that
visitor figures for the first half of 2000 were down substantially
compared with the same period a year earlier.
However, Four Seasons Nevis, which accounts for the bulk of
hotel rooms on the island, was closed for a year following
Hurricane Lenny and did not reopen until last November.
The loss of that resort's inventory of 196 rooms severely
impacted tourist arrivals and tourism numbers.
Nevis' total room count is slightly under 400 rooms in 11
Kidd said the U.S. and Canadian markets account for the highest
numbers of visitors, followed by visitors from Europe and
"Business from the U.S. is down this year because of high air
fares," Kidd said. "Europe arrivals are also down because of lack
of air lift."
Most visitors arrive in Nevis via a ferry connection from St.
However, the runway on Nevis has been extended to handle the
small Dash-8 aircraft, which makes interisland connections easier
and faster. A new terminal building will open in October.
The tourism authority said it is hopeful that in the future,
service could start from San Juan to Nevis via American Eagle as
well as expanded service on Caribbean Star from San Juan and
The organization is looking at traditional and nontraditional
markets as sources of new revenue, according to Kidd.
These include soft-adventure travel, golf, horse racing,
heritage and cultural tours and sports tourism, including the dive
In addition, sales blitzes are planned in key U.S. cities
targeting retail agents, wholesalers and airline partners.