Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has congratulated and thanked organisers and everyone who contributed to the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts festival.
“I want to thank them for buying into the vision of giving Saint Lucia a festival that is world-renowned – giving Saint Lucia a name for something,” Pierre told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting Monday.
He explained that this country’s jazz festival reputation is worth millions of dollars.
Pierre said the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival is known globally, and next year’s event will be bigger and better.
He asserted that his administration’s focus is on the people.
In this regard, Pierre explained that the economic multiplier effect of the jazz festival was massive.
But with the event concluding one day earlier, the Prime Minister also responded to the issue of making an economic-impact judgement now.
“You could see for yourselves. You could see the buy-in; you could see the outfits. You could see the musicians. You could see the number of local artistes. You could see all the people who worked at the park itself. You could see the enthusiasm of the artistes,” Pierre told reporters.
He said those artistes could go international.
“We can’t be myopic,” Pierre declared.
He also indicated a country could not function if party politics influenced everything.
And he told reporters that the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival goes way beyond party politics.
“The entire country benefits – you could see it for yourself, and furthermore, you can’t have a country that depends on tourism and the people cannot get the benefits,” the former Tourism Minister stated.
“Tourism is about people. You can spend millions of marketing dollars through travel agents, through airlines etc. and when the people come here the local people do not give them satisfaction, you will not benefit,” Pierre told reporters.
“You need to have a society where the people buy into tourism,” he asserted, adding that they are the ones who work in the hotels, drive the taxis and work at the immigration department.
Pierre said jazz creates a fusion between the people and the tourism industry.