PM Douglas tours SIDF-funded renovation of OTI

Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) — The Federation’s Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas is of the view that the ongoing renovation of the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI) with financing from the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF), will improve the tourism product.

The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has provided a US$5 million loan to carry out the renovation in which substantial improvements will be made to the hotel plant, infrastructure and amenities including technologies to reduce the hotels’ energy demand as well as state of art information and telecommunication platform.

“It is improving an iconic property. The OTI has been the symbol of tourism in the heart of Basseterre and is very, very, significant for us not only as a government, but as a people. The refurbishment of this property has been a long time in waiting and has eventually arrived,” said Prime Minister Douglas who was accompanied on the tour by Chairman of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla Trading and Development Company (TDC), Mr. Earle Kelly and OTI’s General Manager, Mr. Richard Williams.

Mr. Kelly has disclosed that some EC$6 million has been spent on the project to date.

Prime Minister Douglas responding to questions from his communication unit said his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Government continues to say that the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation which is one of the options of the Citizenship by Investment Programme “is to provide the necessary capital to improve on the infrastructure generally of the country and to provide incentives during a period of prolonged global, economic and financial recession.”

“It is to assist in the training of our human capital so that our young people, especially those who were unemployed, would be provided opportunities for skills acquisition and to ensure that generally in agriculture, tourism or in whatever form of activity that we believe is going to be important in leading the new economy that we are creating, that the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation will provide the necessary funds and capital so to do and this definitely is a fulfilment of the dream of what the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation had set out to achieve,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

“That is the stimulation package, because it is the multiplier effect that we recognize that construction will generally have in the economy. Not only do we see the turnover of goods and services by way of the hardware stores and the building material enterprises, but we are seeing the skills, the services of our skilled people, our plumbers, our electricians, our contractors and at the same time, we are seeing the opportunity for the trainees of the People Employment Programme (PEP) to be on the job, thus acquiring the requisite skills that are going to be necessary when the construction activity in St. Kitts begins to boom again,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

With 70 workers employed on the first phase of the project, Prime Minister Douglas pointed to importance of the construction sector to the overall economy.

“In fact to a large extent, it is the multiplier effect that we are seeing here with 70 people employed and thus impacting so many different sectors of the economy during this particular period,” he said.

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