Castries vendors say they are incensed over remarks made by Tourism Minister, Lorne Theophilus, in response to attacks on tourists.
In response to complaints by vendors about frequent muggings of visitors affecting their business, Theophilus had said that the authorities here are always concerned about crime.
But at the same time the Minister said he does not believe that crime is what if affecting the vendors’ business, and encouraged them to provide unique products to visitors.
A clearly annoyed Vendors Association President, Peter “Ras Ipa” Isaac, accused the Minister of skirting the issue.
“Apparently he has no answers and as a result he feels that the best thing to do is to divert attention, rather than address the issue,” Isaac said.
Asserting that he personally has no problem with Theophilus, Isaac called on the Minister to deal with the issue of crime against visitors and not operate in “bubble.”
The Vendors Association President asserted that vendors are retailers, not manufacturers of the products that they sell.
“To say we are not creative is incorrect because we have created employment for ourselves,” he said.
According to Isaac, the Minister has never once engaged the vendors in any discussion as to the way forward for the tourism industry, although they have ideas about some of the things that should be done before the season reopens.