Citing a lack of air travel capacity in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has indicated that the Island is committed to addressing the issue in 2023.
“Going into the new year, we are committed to rebuilding and growing regional air travel and working alongside any efforts to achieve this goal,” Hilaire said.
“This is a critical segment of our market that we need to address at the earliest,” the Castries South MP explained.
Despite the regional airlift issue, Hilaire disclosed that Saint Lucia accomplished much across the various tourism sub-sector.
He recalled the return of several airlines, including Canada’s Sunwing, Virgin Atlantic, and TUI.
“This will bolster our airlift capacity in what has been a profound rebound year after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Minister stated.
Hilaire also noted that the demand for Saint Lucia is on the rise across the world.
“We will continue to build on this by increasing our efforts in those markets that have been our greatest contributors and breaking into those that are not usually a great contributor,” the Tourism Minister disclosed.
Given the growing demand for Saint Lucia and stayover arrivals on the rebound, Hilaire spoke of the ‘critical’ need for locals to benefit more from the tourist dollar.
In this regard, he said his efforts as Minister would be to ensure greater local participation in tourism.
“This year, we launched the Community Tourism Programme, which is aimed at providing assistance to Saint Lucians to encourage local investment in the industry,” Hilaire recalled.
“Our philosophy is: ‘Less leakages and more linkages’, making sure that more of the tourism dollar stays in and circulates in our local economy,” he disclosed.
“We have built on this by introducing more programmes and activities that will get the visitors out of the hotels and villas and into the communities and this is testament to the awards that we have won this year,” the Tourism Minister said.
Why only focus on air travel? The sea is right there and much cheaper. Jesus you clowns.
What about “sea ferries” for REGIONAL travellers. Already air fares are way toooo high for “Joe Public”. As usual, this administration is always concentrating on the “unreachable” instead of looking at what is available IN FRONT OF THEM!!!
@Just Saying …. only now saw and read your comment. You are spot on!!