Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has said that tourism must benefit all and cannot be just about big hotels.
The Castries South MP spoke during this week’s official Soufriere-Fond St Jacques Vendors’ Association launch.
“Tourism must bring benefits for all,” he declared to applause from the audience.
He noted that big hotels have huge operations.
“We have to applaud that and we need that,” the Minister explained.
In this regard, he observed that the government must support the hotels by providing incentives and concessions for their operations.
However, Hilaire said it could not be the hotels alone.
The Minister disclosed that the laws in Saint Lucia now only accommodations get incentives and concessions.
But he said that must change.
“You must be able to get incentives and concessions too,” Hilaire told the Soufriere-Fond St Jacques Vendors’ Association launch to more applause.
“Everybody involved in the tourism industry must be able to get concessions and incentives and we are very clear because we want more Saint Lucians involved in tourism. We want more Saint Lucians owning the tourism industry,” he stated.
“Why should a tourism industry be owned by a small group or by foreigners? We want more Saint Lucians, which is why we established the Community Tourism Programme,” the Castries South MP noted.
He stated that the government was making millions available to people who wanted loans and grants to start their own tourism products.
Hilaire said when the tourism dollar comes to Saint Lucia, the government wants most of it to stay in the country.
“If you own the sites, the attractions. If you, the vendors, can make them spend more, more of that dollar stays in Saint Lucia, ” the Tourism Minister advised.
Question I agree with granting concessions to private companies. But why do the hotels get free concessions duty taxes free.They are making millions. Make them pay.
Yes U all have a few voters that u all wanna give freeness
And where is the lie??? Right on point Doc this is our country, OUR TOURISM, OUR BIRTHRIGHT Saint Lucians should benifit the most not a CHOOSEN FEW that gives back very little to this country. All there profit goes overseas, only pennies are circulated amongst us that’s why we can’t see or reap the benefits from tourism.
this is just a sham message. like some will say they will make a public statement which cost them nothing but it will be beneficial for just a few such as friends, family and kickbacks.
they will never put it into place for everyone to enjoy once they meet the criteria. thats why i don’t vote for no politicians. if a sheep or a goat is up for election i may consider voting for them because these leaders who we have and the service they are dispensing just makes you think whether they pay for their certificates or just print it at home.