Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Carlene Henry-Morton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, said that it is important to showcase the federation's talent, in particular, its local cuisine, as it is deemed a magnet to the many tourists who visit the islands, noting that a lot of tourists tend to capitalize on Restaurant Week, which is slated for July 19-30, 2017.
"Tourism is a transversal sector, so a lot of the activities that we do, stress connections and linkages and collaboration, and Restaurant Week is certainly one of those activities that would fall into that category of partnerships and capitalizing on synergies," said the permanent secretary, while delivering remarks at Restaurant's Week Media Launch on Tuesday, April 18.
Mrs. Henry-Morton said that the agriculture sector is important to the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, especially as it relates to tourism.
"In tourism, we are seeing now more than ever increasing trends of visitors who desire experiential travel. These visitors want to forge a connection with the places they visit through the music, hence the music festival that we have in June. They want to participate in the type of entertainment that locals would normally want to participate in, they want contact with local people, and they want to consume the food that we eat and that is provided locally," said the permanent secretary. "Food or culinary tourism, the local dining scene, the experience, is big business worldwide and is recognized as a vital component of the tourism experience. At the Ministry of Tourism, we are certainly taking notice and we are preparing to capitalize in this trend through initiatives such as Restaurant Week. But make no mistake, Restaurant Week is for the benefit of our residents and local economy."
The permanent secretary said that research shows that apart from food, an authentic taste of the countries visited is ranked alongside climate, accommodation and scenery in importance to tourist. She noted that against this backdrop, the Ministry of Tourism is doing all in its power to ensure that the visitor experience is of high quality and enjoyable.
She acknowledged the involvement of the Department of Agriculture in partnering with the Ministry of Tourism for the third consecutive year for the hosting of Restaurant Week 2017. Equally important, she added that the Ministry of Tourism is delighted to be working closely and actively with a number of entities and persons "for the benefit of our local producers, our local consumers – trying to bring them together in the best interest of our very impressive food scene- our local cuisine."
The root vegetable yam will be the focus for this year's Restaurant Week. As is the practice, participating restaurants throughout St. Kitts and Nevis will be offering meals at special menu prices and will feature dishes made from yam.