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Hilaire Highlights Tourism Resilience In The Aftermath Of Tropical Storm Bret

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Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire highlighted the resilience of tourism in the aftermath of the passage of Tropical Storm Bret last week.

He told reporters Monday that the industry lost a day when Saint Lucia’s two airports temporarily closed.

However, the Castries South MP explained that the Island made up the following day due to increased flights.

“So we are getting back on course,” he said on the margins of a Cabinet meeting.

According to Hilaire, it demonstrates tourism’s resilience.

“You listen to people who say, ‘Oh, everything is tourism, tourism. Tourism is so fickle.’ Tourism is also the most resilient industry,” he asserted.

Hilaire recalled that Tropical Storm Bret damaged a significant portion of the agriculture industry.

He noted that it takes nine months for a banana tree to grow and bear.

“So all the banana trees we lost, there will be no income for the next nine months, and government has to come and help them to replant,” Hilaire told reporters.

“We had the same storm. By Sunday visitors were arriving as per normal,” he said.

Nevertheless, the Tourism Minister observed that things could become extreme, where a storm is so bad it destroys hotels, rendering them inoperable.

But he said should that happen, every agriculture field would also sustain damage.

“There’s actually a calypso that we’re building a destination and not a nation. To some extent she’s right and I would say to her, ‘The best destination is a nation’. When you can build a nation, you can sell that anywhere as a destination,” the Castries South MP noted.

“But you can’t say you’re not going to spend money on promoting the country because you need that money to spend elsewhere. But that’s what earns the money for the country in the first place,” Hilaire stated.

He spoke of the need for increased Saint Lucian participation in and ownership of the tourism industry, adding that the government was injecting many resources to achieve that end.

Hilaire stated that tourism brings in money, accounting for forty percent of GDP.

Headline photo: Dr. Ernest Hilaire speaks to reporters in this  May, 2023, file image.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. That cannot be the same guy that was saying shut down the borders during Covid😭😭😭. Boy special place in hell for these polotricksters…

  2. Oh Dr. Hilaire, how wonderful it is for you to talk about the tourist. But Hilaire did you visit Marigot? If yes where, is it by China Town and by JJ? What about the other areas, why do you refuse to visit them. Doc 2026 is not far remember how you are ignoring us now, we will remember that in 2026.

  3. MR. Hilaire what Tourism Resilience you even talking about? its not like you even did anything for more flights to come in. Obviously Naturally the flights that were supposed to come in the friday of the storm didnt come in and all of them would have come in the very next day given the ports are in tact and the all clear was given. You have the Castries ports with no cruise ships for almost a month if not more now and taxi drivers who operate there cant make a dollar. When it was the last administration even in the closed season which we are in right now a cruise ship would still come once a week if not two every other week at least something was coming but you not doing anything for something come in. You just want to rely on jazz and carnival to hype up that instead.

  4. As the minister of Tourism,E H should encourage the hotel’s to pay their workers a living minimum wage of $10+ per hour to elevate our working poor standard,It is time to raise the salaries of all the workers,at, least a $10+ compulsory minimum wage..
    The slave practice must stop..

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