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St Kitts hotelier yet to see benefits of CPL

By Vinode Mamchan

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Ocean Terrace Inn general manager Steve Tyson flanked by assistant manager Twyla Amory, left, and sales/marketing manager Medianna Pereira during an interview with Guardian Media last week.  * Vinode Mamchan

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — The gov­ern­ment of St Kitts/Nevis has in­vest­ed heav­i­ly in sports tourism and has used crick­et, and the cur­rent Caribbean Pre­mier League tour­na­ment in par­tic­u­lar, as a ma­jor tool to at­tract vis­i­tors to the is­land.

How­ev­er, St Kitts/Nevis hote­lier Steve Tyson be­lieves oth­er­wise and says he is yet to see the re­wards on this in­vest­ment. Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia as the CPL moved to the is­land for an­oth­er stop dur­ing last week, he said: “We have not seen a ma­jor in­crease in tourist ar­rivals with the crick­et com­ing here. I don’t know the ex­act rea­son but the gov­ern­ment has been try­ing through sports tourism to boost the sec­tor.”

The is­land’s CPL fran­chise team, the St Kitts Nevis Pa­tri­ots, are cur­rent­ly fourth on the six-team ta­ble with eight points but have al­ready played all their home match­es.

Tyson, who is the gen­er­al man­ag­er of the very pop­u­lar Ocean Ter­race Inn (OTI), said Caribbean trav­ellers pre­fer his es­tab­lish­ment be­cause it is smack in the city cen­tre of Bas­seterre.

“Our ho­tel is right in the mid­dle of the city and this helps with our oc­cu­pan­cy. How­ev­er, crick­et has not re­al­ly helped us,” he said, not­ing this sea­son was yet an­oth­er case in point.

His as­sis­tant man­ag­er, Twyla Amory, be­lieves sports tourism is the way to go for the coun­try but al­so point­ed out that the CPL is yet to pay div­i­dends in this re­gard.

“We are hop­ing that we can get an in­crease in ar­rivals here be­cause of crick­et. I know that these things take time but we are hope­ful that the ef­fort be­ing made by the gov­ern­ment to in­crease the ar­rivals im­pact us,” Amory said.

“We are heav­i­ly pre­ferred by re­gion­al trav­ellers be­cause of our won­der­ful and very rea­son­able pack­ages, we want that to ben­e­fit the crick­et-lov­ing peo­ple as well. Busi­ness peo­ple al­ways come to us, what we want is the crick­et crowd when there is crick­et on the is­land.”

To give the ho­tel an ex­tra boost, Amory said they are now plan­ning spe­cials for next sea­son’s CPL ac­tion.

“We are go­ing to em­bark on a cam­paign of spe­cial deals to get in the crick­et crowd.

“We want to give them some­thing spe­cial just to say thank you for com­ing to our beau­ti­ful coun­try.”

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