Following the COVID-19 pandemic, residents want the island’s tourism industry to support locals’ well-being, cultural authenticity, and natural resources.
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (26 May 2022) – Today, the St. Kitts Ministry of Tourism released the results of their 2021 Resident Perception of Tourism Survey. This survey, completed by Sustainable Travel International and Holistic Education Research & Conservation, a local data-driven community-based organization, aimed to understand resident priorities and sentiments towards tourism in order to inform policy and strategy moving forward. Building on a 2017 resident survey, it showed that, while positive perceptions of tourism have diminished over the past four years, exacerbated over the past two years by the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, residents still believe tourism is important and an industry they want to grow and participate in.
When dreaming of a tropical getaway, we often envision stunning coastal vistas and coral reefs teeming with wildlife. As visitors, these underwater ecosystems quench our wanderlust by providing a remarkable backdrop and playground for adventure. But coral reefs provide so much more than tourist gratification – they are incredibly important assets for the communities who live near them as well. About 40% of people live within 60 miles (100km) of the coast. Of these people, more than 275 million live in close proximity to coral reefs (within 30 km of reefs and less than 10 km from the coast). These nearby inhabitants often depend on reefs for their survival and well-being.