Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 30, 2022 (SKNBS): Urgent quality improvements in the tourism
sector are now closer to becoming reality, thanks to a national dialogue between sector
stakeholders and quality institutions in St Kitts and Nevis held this week.
The Saint Kitts and Nevis Bureau of Standards (SKNBS), in collaboration with CARICOM
Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), hosted a one-day workshop entitled
“National Dialogue between the national quality infrastructure and the tourism sector in the Saint
Kitts and Nevis” on Tuesday March 29th, 2022, at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
The SKNBS is currently participating in CROSQ’s implementation of the 11th European
Development Fund (EDF) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Technical Barriers to Trade
(TBT) Programme, “Support to CARIFORUM States in furthering the implementation of their
Economic Partnership Agreement Commitments and in meaningfully reaping the benefits of the
Agreement.” One of the core activities in this project aims at institutionalizing a dialogue forum
between national Quality Infrastructure (QI) institutions, regional QI networks and the private
sector. In Saint Kitts and Nevis, such a dialogue forum was developed with the tourism sector.
(A similar exercise was conducted with the agriculture sector in 2015).
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mrs. Jasemin Weekes, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry
of International Trade et al, stated that the national dialogue with the tourism sector was
“It signals that we are in fact serious in making our tourism and related services sector more
competitive,” she said. “After all, the tourism sector is a vital foreign exchange earning product
for the Federation.”
She noted that with the slow but promising resumption of tourism sector services in the
federation, it will require urgent and strategic quality improvement, adding that the national
dialogue is therefore “timely and augers well for the tourism sector.”
Also speaking at the opening, Mr. Deryck Omar, CEO of CROSQ, said that timing of the event
was crucial, as St. Kitts and Nevis is in the process of enhancing and expanding its tourism
sector and the concurrent development of its QI.
“This represents a great opportunity to develop a QI that is relevant, current, and meeting the
specific needs of the tourism sector,” he said. “This national dialogue forum comes at a time
when the world is talking about quality in all aspects of our day-to-day living, and where the
global demands are there for stricter adherence to standards and less tolerance for errors as it
relates to the quality of the land and marine-based products. It is expected that this dialogue will
increase awareness and understanding within the sector of the importance of standards and
quality to making your businesses more competitive.”
In her keynote address, Mrs. Carlene Henry-Morton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Tourism, stated that her ministry welcomes the opportunity to share its ideas about how they can
partner with stakeholders for sustainable development outcomes to raise standards across the
board and that they would want to use those standards to enhance the profile of the destination,
which will add value to every guest experience, boost the country’s appeal, add to its charm and
“This national dialogue is a call to action, a coming together of the critical stakeholders, the key
players, for us to engage each other in lively discussions, to listen to each other’s ideas, to share
our concerns, our plan and to talk about the collective vision we have for present, and future of
this very transversal sector called tourism,” she said.
At the end of the national dialogue an action plan was developed, which will enable the QI
institutions to support the tourism sector in effectively increasing and providing good quality
service and products, while meeting the requirements of the market.