By Merv-Ann Thompson
Basseterre, St. Kitts, Jan 29, 2024 (ZIZ Newsroom): Visitors to Nevis for Culturama 50 will be able to enjoy an authentic Nevisian experience with the introduction of the Homestay Programme to aid in the over-night stay capacity of the island.
The details of the programme were unveiled at the first press conference for the Culturama Committee on Thursday, January 25, 2024, by Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Nevis Island Administration’s Ministry of Tourism.
“The overall goal is that this product represents the aim of achieving sustainable tourism development and also attaining growth in community-based tourism,” Mr. Hanley said, adding that “the goal of this product is for tourists to interactively engage in aspects of our local culture such as our local cuisine, festivals and traditions that will be showcased at Culturama and the broad aims are to provide alternative and affordable accommodations to visitors.”
The tourism official said Nevis also wants to offer “an enriching and authentic Nevisian experience that will bring economic benefit to the locals.”
The programme will feature three tiers: guests can rent rooms in a Nevisian home, sharing space with families; rent apartments and guest houses; or luxury villas.
He said homeowners interested in being a part of the programme have to meet minimum requirements, intended to be as simple as possible.
“There are some minimum requirements for our homeowners, and we have gone out of our way to make sure that these requirements are as simple as possible because of course we want as many persons as possible to participate in the program. So, we have a very basic, a very simple application form that we will ask them to complete.
We are going to ask them to present one national photo ID, such as your passport, for example. A picture of the apartment or the villa or the duplex or the house to be rented. A description of the location of the premises, a copy of the house rules assigned assurance of restriction of animals and property.”
Mr. Hanley said that the high standards the Nevis is known for will be maintained.
Interested homeowners can submit the requisite documents to the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA).
A site inspection will take place, and if passed, a certificate will be issued, and the home listed on the NTA’s website as an approved stay.
If the inspection is not passed, areas to be rectified will be indicated to the homeowner and a future inspection scheduled.