The Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis last week officially launched its National Yachting Policy. Government and private officials last week attended the ceremony to launch changes in rules to develop a yachting-friendly infrastructure.

McClean Hobson, director of Maritime Affairs, told the group that the challenge would be to put a methodology in place to develop a sustainable yachting sector. “It is critical that all the stakeholders work together to develop this most important sector,” said Hobson.

The director said that Richard Skerritt, the island’s Minister of Tourism, has been keen to develop yachting for several years.

Hobson completed a study of the yachting sector in 2012, forming recommendations for a Yachting Oversight Committee and the creation of a National Policy.

Elizabeth Thompson, a former government minister of Barbados, was hired as a consultant to develop the proposals. “Extensive consultations coupled with countless email exchanges were carried out with local stakeholders,” said Hobson. “This was followed up with a presentation by the consultant on the first draft of the policy in January this year.”

The launch of the final policy statement included ideas from various stakeholders in the yachting sector as well as government officials.

“It is by no means perfect, reviews will be done and changes will be made as we progress,” said Hobson. “But I am certain that we have captured all the salient points in one document to chart the course for the sustainable development of the yachting sector in St Kitts and Nevis.”

Hobson said the next step would be to develop a strategic plan to implement the provisions of the policy.