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SLHTA Official Says Crime A ‘Clear And Present Danger’ To Tourism

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) has expressed concern over the impact of crime, asserting that it was a ‘clear and present danger’ to tourism.

“Very troubling, very worrying, and very concerning,” Senator Noorani Azeez declared on the sidelines of a Senate meeting on Tuesday when reporters raised the issue of crimes against visitors.

He spoke amid reports that emergency personnel rushed a Canadian tourist to hospital last week after he sustained stab wounds when five young men robbed him on Dauphin Street, Gros Islet.

“I think one of the competitive advantages of our destination is that it is a relatively safe environment in which to recreate, have a vacation, get away with your family,” the Independent Senator said.

In addition, he told reporters that Saint Lucia had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing.

And Azeez observed that in recent months that had been much investment in nurturing community-based tourism activities and linkages with other sectors so everyone could access the tourism dollar.

“But crime is a very clear and present danger to the tourism industry – make no mistake about it and in one swell swoop, it can easily destabilise a lot of the gains that we have worked so hard to create and to maintain,” the SLHTA official warned.

“I don’t think we could ever exhaust the urgency of the times right now and the discussion on the role that each and every citizen and resident must play in ensuring that we have a safe environment not only in which to cohabit but also in which to extend recreational experiences to our visitors and our guests,” Azeez told reporters.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Tourism is a fickle industry, which could be destablised in one fell swoop. However, if the concentration was on EDUCATION, HEALTH and AGRICULTURE, where jobs can be created from these entities (think about it for TWO hours, or so – no spoon feeding necessary), St Lucia would be in a much better place. People would be able to KNOW / REALISE that they cannot be manipulated by “elected leaders”. St Lucia is in deep s**t!!

  2. With tourism – word of mouth is the order of the day and a great percentage of the marketing is done through word of mouth contrary to popular belief.

    Example: A tourist takes a trip and then shares the experience with someone else at work, church, school etc. and so on and so. Therefore based on the current crime situation – may I suggest that you do the math because word sure travels and it travels far and wide like lightening. Several years ago some individuals at my job vacationed in St. Lucia because I shared some insight with them…. praying

  3. @Lab, have you looked at the percentage of the annual budget that goes to health, agriculture and education compared to tourism? Hoteliers and restauranteurs pay their workers; Government pays everyone in health and education. Tourism has its faults but no other industry brings in as much foreign exchange than tourism. How do you think we pay for imports of consumer durables like cars, TVs, clothing, building materials drugs and the like? Education and health cyan pay for that!

  4. You spending hundreds of millions to market tourism but the working poor earn 2 to 5 EC dollars an hour hmmm…

  5. It’s only idiot politicians who will make such a statement without thinking of what is being said… again it shows the level of intellect there is in Saint Lucian politicians…one would think that the people of the soil would be given the due care and concern when it comes to the scourge of crime….they are the ones in the front line, they are the ones day in day out facing the music…and yet you don’t think crime is a clear and present danger to the people of Saint Lucia?.. reason would dictate that if the people of Saint Lucia are safe from crime automatically the visitors by extension of visiting Saint Lucia would be safe from crime… similarly, if visitors to Saint Lucia on their walk about on the Island are not targeted by criminals, but hear of the criminal elements affecting our society, these visitors can similarly spread the news Saint Lucia has crime issues…even if crime did not affect the tourist on their visits….for this politician to make such a statement shows he has no clue …you always put the citizenry first… crime is a clear and present danger to the citizens of Saint Lucia….solve that and the tourism issue will benefit…but if you are seeing it from the tourist dollar, then you clearly miss the point…. again clueless politicians….but then again, I am not surprised…no wonder we are in this mess…

  6. When will the private prosecutor start investigating politicians? Is it true that the Judge who sentenced the two former leader of opposition was transferred immediately after the sentencing?
    If that is true, isn’t that CORRUPTION to the highest degree?

  7. Desmond, how do you know that? This is under lock and key in St. Lucia. The Supreme Court which is responsible for the administration of justice and also its members will not be trusted if so be the case. I want the chief justice to investigate and make a statement about this.

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