Archive for 2020 News

Revisions to the Travel Requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis – Revised Update #4

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 11, 2020) – St. Kitts & Nevis officially opened its borders to international travel on October 31, 2020. Since the opening of the borders on Saturday, the Federation has welcomed 183 travelers to its shores who were greeted with a festive performance by the St. Kitts Masqueraders. All persons were processed proficiently and transferred to their accommodations. This update outlines a change to the exit test requirements.

All International Travelers (Non-Nationals/Non-Residents) are required to take a PCR-Test, 72 hours prior to travel and submit proof of test with the Travel Authorization Form (knatravelform.kn). Travelers staying 7 nights or less, are required to take a PCR-test 72 hours prior to departure. The PCR-test will be done on the hotel property, at the nurse’s station.  The Ministry of Health will advise the respective hotel, of the date and time for the traveler’s PCR-test before departure. If positive before departure, the traveler will be required to stay in isolation at their cost, at their respective hotel. If negative, travelers will proceed with departure on their respective date.

The cost for the PCR test is USD $150 for Non-Nationals/Non-Residents.

Travelers should regularly check the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (www.stkittstourism.kn) and Nevis Tourism Authority (www.nevisisland.com) websites for updates and information.

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CTO Produces Multi-Hazard Risk Management Guide for Caribbean Tourism

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (13 Nov. 2020) – Caribbean tourism practitioners and policymakers in the public and private sectors now have a practical tool to help them prepare for, and manage, multiple hazards that pose a risk to the industry.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) – the region’s tourism development agency – has produced the ‘Multi-Hazard Risk Management Guide for the Caribbean Tourism Sector’, which addresses all phases of the disaster management cycle.

The guide provides frameworks, guidelines and strategies, including recommended actions for each of the eight CTO-recognised sub-sectors of tourism: accommodation providers, food and beverage operations, transport services, recreation and entertainment businesses, event and conference facilities and providers of tourism support services, which include the travel trade and national tourism organisations.

“The CTO is highly cognizant of the changing needs of tourism in the region, and through this initiative, we are working to better serve our member countries by providing them with the knowledge and tools to more effectively mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the multiple threats posed by natural and man-made hazards,” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general. “The current COVID-19 crisis emphasises the importance of initiatives such as this one taken by the CTO to aid in successful tourism management and enhance resilience and sustainability.”

In order to help prepare member countries to use the guide effectively, the CTO recently hosted a regional disaster management workshop for 33 public and private sector representatives from member countries whose role includes support for disaster management at the national and/or enterprise level.

A significant outcome of the training – facilitated by international consultant, Evan Green, who finalised the guide –  was that each participant would complete a tourism emergency assessment plan for a tourism business or destination. They were also asked to produce an interim operations strategy which includes messaging to communicate business interruption following a hazard, as part of business continuity planning.

A training-of-trainers workshop was also held for a core group of seven participants from Dominica – the first in a series of such workshops planned in order to create a pool of trainers at the national level.

These exercises formed part of the CTO’s ‘Supporting a Climate Smart and Sustainable Caribbean Tourism Industry’ project being implemented with funding and technical support to the tune of €460,173 from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through the African Caribbean Pacific and European Union- funded Natural Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) programme.

“Climate and disaster risks pose serious challenges to the sustainability of the Caribbean tourism industry. The training on the multi-hazard risk management guide is critical to equip key tourism stakeholders with the tools and skills needed to manage these risks. We are pleased to collaborate with CTO and support such an important initiative,” said Dr. Yves Personna, the CDB’s project manager for the NDRM programme.

 

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CTO Non-Government Members Elect New Board

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (10 Nov. 2020) – A cadre of former Caribbean destination management officials has been elected to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) allied member board of directors by the private sector members of the organization. At its recent election to select a team of five to represent their interests on the CTO board of directors and executive committee, the allied members chose a diverse group, chaired by William “Billy” Griffith, a former CEO of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, now managing director of WCG Consulting Ltd.

“I am honoured to have been elected to represent the allied members of the CTO and represent this diverse group of companies, as its chairman, at this critical stage of our tourism destiny,” said Griffith. “My immediate priority will be to re-energise and increase the membership base, build capacity and work with the executive branch on a cohesive plan to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19.”

Griffith is one of three new allied members elected to the five-member board. The other two are Seleni Matus, a former director of tourism in Belize, now executive director of the International Institute of Tourism Studies at George Washington University, and Sharon Flax-Brutus, a former director of tourism of the British Virgin Islands, now director and strategist at White Oleander Destinations.

“Strong regional tourism organisations are important now more than ever before. I am delighted to work alongside a great group of regional leaders to assist the Caribbean Tourism Organization and its member states to create new tools and partnerships that will enhance resilience and sustainability of the tourism industry,” said Matus.

“As a director of the allied board I would first like us to help the organisation to regain the confidence of the private sector so that our membership can not only grow but be representative of the various sectors of the tourism industry,” added Flax-Brutus. “I would also like to see increased opportunities for allied members to participate in, and facilitate more, dialogue on how we can all work together for the benefit of Caribbean tourism.”

The new board members will be supported by returning members, Jacqueline Johnson, the CEO of Global Bridal Group and MarryCaribbean.com, and Barry Brown, Afar Media’s executive director for the Caribbean. Both have served on the allied board for many years and both have renewed their commitment to supporting the CTO’s objectives.

“I am happy to be a part of the allied board of the CTO. Particularly in these unprecedented times, allieds have an opportunity to rebuild interest and support for this most vibrant organisation as it creates a new vision for the future,” said Brown.

“I am very pleased with the roster of talent available to help with the rebuilding of the organisation during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The pool of skilled tourism practitioners from the region speaks volume about the importance of tourism and the need to ‘build better together,’” said Johnson. “I am delighted to be included in this important roster of professionals.”

Through various activities and events, the allied members utilise their wide roster of professionals and expertise to assist the CTO with its development programme for Caribbean tourism. In consultation with the wider allied membership, the board makes recommendations on regional tourism programmes to the CTO board of directors, identifies opportunities to build the CTO’s non-government membership programme, and coordinates key activities during major CTO events, including the allied marketing conference and networking initiatives for government and allied members.

Elections for the allied board are held every two years for the private sector and non-governmental members of the CTO. This year’s election was held virtually for the first time.

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Caribbean Development Bank Supports CTO’s First-ever Regional Tourism Skills Audit

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (3 Nov. 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with funding support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is to conduct its first-ever regional skills audit to assess the competencies of the Caribbean tourism workforce.

The main goal of the regional human resource development (RHRD) knowledge and skills audit is to help Caribbean tourism planners and policymakers better understand how to most effectively leverage human resource development for a more innovative and competitive industry, the regional tourism development agency said.

CDB has approved a grant of US$124,625 from its special funds resources to help finance the project. The technical assistance grant came through the micro, small and medium enterprises unit of the bank.

“Given the tourism industry’s significant contribution to economic and social development in the region, it is of vital importance to undertake the skills audit, as it will provide insight and foresight on tourism workforce competencies, as well as skills gaps and imbalances in the tourism sector,” said Neil Walters, the CTO’s acting secretary general.

“We are truly thankful to the CDB for providing the funding for this audit. An audit of this kind is a necessary step in enhancing human resource development in Caribbean tourism, since there is a need to rationalise and streamline skills and knowledge development,” Walters added.

The regional financial institution has supported other CTO projects in the past, including a US$223,312 grant in 2017 for a programme to strengthen the business performance and overall competitiveness of tourism-related micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in ten CDB borrowing member countries through the Hospitality Assured programme. That same year, it also provided a €460,000 grant to the CTO to implement a project to increase the Caribbean tourism sector’s resilience to natural hazards and climate related risks.

“This audit will provide beneficial data and information to assist planners, strategists, policymakers and tourism human resource managers in more effectively identifying capacity-building needs and developing better targeted interventions,” said Daniel Best, the director of projects department at the CDB.

Among other objectives, the audit will seek to identify the specific leadership and workforce competencies required to meet the current and future needs of the region’s  tourism sector and provide a detailed review of the critical skill sets and resources necessary for the development of a sustainable, high-performing Caribbean tourism workforce. It’s also expected to provide valuable information and recommendations that will assist with the development of policies and better planned interventions related to human capital.

Data obtained from the audit is also expected to contribute to effective human resource planning for the tourism industry in the region by providing a framework for decision-making to guide the development and refinement of tourism education and training programmes by academic and training institutions in order to reduce skills gaps and mismatches.

About the Caribbean Development Bank

The Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution established in 1970 for the purpose of contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of its Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs). In addition to the 19 BMCs, CDB’s membership includes four regional non-borrowing members – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela and five non-regional, non-borrowing members; i.e., Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. CDB’s total assets as at December 31, 2019 stood at US$ 3.59 billion (bn). These include US$2.1 bn of Ordinary Capital Resources and US$1.49 bn of Special Funds Resources. The Bank is rated Aa1 Stable with Moody’s, AA+ Stable with Standard & Poor’s and AA+ Stable with FitchRatings. Read more at caribank.org.

 About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean.

Among the benefits to its members the organisation provides specialised support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution and research & information technology.

The CTO’s Headquarters is located at Baobab Tower, Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados BB 22026; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected];

For more information on the Caribbean Tourism Organization, please visit www.OneCaribbean.org and follow CTO on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to be part of the conversation.

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Travel Requirements for St. Kitts & Nevis Update #2

Basseterre, St. Kitts (November 4, 2020) – St. Kitts & Nevis is now officially welcoming visitors to its shores. Today, Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis announced that St. Kitts & Nevis has withdrawn from the “Caribbean bubble” immediately. Travelers from all CARICOM Member States are now officially part of the “International Traveler” category. Furthermore, St. Kitts & Nevis has officially announced requirements for travelers arriving by sea vessel and has instituted a new requirement: a PCR-test for exit required for those staying less than 14 days.

All incoming passengers to St. Kitts & Nevis are required to complete the Travel Authorization Form, which can be found at www.travelform.gov.kn, prior to their arrival. International travelers must have their negative PCR-test and booked accommodation to complete the Travel Authorization Form required for entry. Once the form is completed and submitted, with a valid email address, it will be reviewed, and the visitor will receive an approval letter to enter the Federation.

The Federation’s phased approach for reopening outlines the specific travel requirements for travelers arriving by Air and Sea for Phase 1.

  1. Travelers arriving by Air (Private Jets, Charters and Commercial Aircraft) please note below:

 International Travelers

Travelers coming from CARICOM Member States (including those within the “Caribbean bubble”) as well as travelers from US, Canada, UK, Europe, Africa and South America. These travelers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.travelform.gov.kn) and upload an official COVID 19 PCR negative test result from a CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEO 17025 standard, taken within 72 hours of travel. They should also bring a copy of the negative COVID 19 PCR test for their trip.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.
  4. 1-7 days: visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  5. 8-14 days: visitors will undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 8 they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (list to be announced later).
  6. 14 days or longer: visitors will need to undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis.
  7. If the visitors stay is less than 14 days, they will be asked to take a PCR-test before departing St. Kitts & Nevis. The test must be negative.

Upon arrival if a traveler’s PCR-test is outdated, falsified or if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 they will be required to undergo a PCR-test at the airport at their own cost.

Approved hotels for international travelers are:

  1. Four Seasons
  2. Koi Resort, by Curio, Hilton
  3. Marriott Vacation Beach Club
  4. Paradise Beach
  5. Park Hyatt
  6. Royal St. Kitts Hotel
  7. St. Kitts Marriott Resort

International travelers who would like to stay at private rental home or condo must stay at a property that has been pre-approved as a quarantine housing at their own cost, including security.  Please submit request to [email protected].

  1. Returning Nationals, Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) certificate holders and Work Permit Holders 

Travelers who are returning Nationals, Residents (proof of residency stamp in passport), Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) certificate holders and Work Permit Holders).  These travelers must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.travelform.gov.kn) and upload an official COVID 19 PCR negative test result from a CDC/UKAS approved lab accredited with ISO/IEO 17025 standard, taken within 72 hours of travel. They should also bring a copy of the negative COVID 19 PCR test for their trip.
  2. Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.
  3. Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app (full details yet to be released), to be used for the first 14 days of travel or less.

Any traveler in this category will be allowed entry into the Federation and transported to approved accommodations, where they will stay at their cost for 14-days in quarantine. The cost for quarantine at the Government facility at OTI is USD 500.00, at Potworks it is USD 400.00, and the cost for each COVID-19 test is USD 100.00. Returning nationals and residents may also opt to stay in pre-approved quarantine housing at their own cost, including appropriate security.

The approved accommodations are:

  1. Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI)
  2. Oualie Beach Resort
  3. Potworks
  4. Royal St. Kitts Hotel

Any traveler in this category who wishes to stay in one of the seven (7) approved hotels for “Vacation in Place,” for International Travelers are required to do the following:

  1. 1-7 days: visitors are free to move about the hotel property, interact with other guests and partake in hotel activities.
  2. 8 -14 days: visitors will undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 7. If the traveler tests negative on day 8 they are allowed, through the hotel’s tour desk, to book select excursions and access select destination sites (list to be announced later).
  3. 14 days or longer: visitors will need to undergo a PCR-test (USD 100, visitors’ cost) on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis

 In-Transit Passengers

Passengers who are in-transit at RLB Airport must observe the following requirements:

    1. Show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result upon arrival
    2. Must wear a mask at all times
    3. Undergo a focused health screening at the airport
    4. Must remain in the airport after clearing customs

Travelers Arriving by Sea (Private Vessels e.g. Yachts) please note below:

Travelers arriving via the country’s seaports must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete the Travel Authorization Form on the national website (www.travelform.gov.kn).
  2. The vessel will be required to dock at one of six ports, submit the maritime declaration of health to the port health officer and interact with other border agencies. The six ports are: The Deepwater Port, Port Zante, Christophe Harbor, New Guinea, Charlestown Pier and Long Point Port.
  3. These travelers will be processed accordingly and will vacation in place or quarantine as previously outlined. The prescribed quarantine time will be determined by the vessels or ships transit time from the last of port of call to their arrival to the Federation. Transit time must be supported by official documentation and sail clear advance notification system.
  4. Yachts and pleasure over 60 feet must quarantine at Christophe Harbor in St. Kitts. Yachts and pleasure vessels less than 60 feet must quarantine at the following locations: Ballast Bay in St. Kitts, Pinney’s Beach and Gallows in Nevis. There is a fee to monitor yachts and pleasure vessels that are less than 60 feet that are in quarantine (fee to be announced later).

The CDC recently assessed the Federation’s Covid-19 risk as very low and designated it as “No Travel Notice” required, having had only 19 cases of the Coronavirus, no community spread and no deaths.

Stakeholders in every sector of the industry have been trained in our health and safety protocols, which include a comprehensive system of inspection and monitoring to encourage everyone to maintain the basic standards.  Stakeholders who have participated in the training receive a certificates and business who have been inspected and meet the “Travel Approved” criteria, will receive their “Travel Approved” Seal.

Specifically, the “Travel Approved” program achieves two things:

  1. It offers “Travel Approved” training for tourism stakeholders and awards the “Travel Approved” seal to those businesses which meet, both the St. Kitts Tourism Authority and Ministry of Health inspections standards.
  2. It allows for St. Kitts and Nevis on their respective websites, to promote those business entities that have received the “Travel Approved” seal.  Those without the seal are not approved for visitors.

Visitors will also be asked to follow basic health and safety protocols of frequent handwashing and or sanitizing, physical distancing and mask wearing. Masks are required whenever the visitor is outside of their hotel room.

Travelers should regularly check the St. Kitts Tourism Authority (www.stkittstourism.kn) and Nevis Tourism Authority (www.nevisisland.com) websites for updates and information

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