Dominic Fedee, the man whom United Workers Party (UWP) leader, Allen Chastanet, has tipped to become Tourism Minister should the party win the next elections, has taken the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) to task over the performance of the tourism industry.
At a news conference today, Fedee accused the SLTP of cherry picking performance figures in a news release this week, without giving the big picture.
He asserted that the SLTB sought to create an impression of a situation that does not exist.
Fedee urged the authorities to put measures in place to improve tourism performance and not fool the people.
He disclosed that the tourism sector in the Caribbean is enjoying record breaking numbers of seven percent and reports are that regional tourism has for the first time, outperformed the rest of the world.
However Dominic Fedee observed that Saint Lucia is “very far” from where the Caribbean is positioned.
He told the representatives of the media at today’s news conference that this country recorded a two percent growth for 2015.
“This tells us very clearly that the destination is unfortunately underperforming and this is of much concern to us as an opposition United Workers Party,” the UWP endorsed candidate for Anse La Raye/Canaries asserted.
“We have received a number of complaints from the hotel sector who have found that things are a bit difficult, and to add to the very bad performance of last year we see that this year has started badly with a two percent decline in tourism arrivals.”
Fedee declared that this does not bode well.
He expressed the opinion that the trend is likely to continue.
He said there was a double digit performance in Barbados, while Saint Lucia remains “at the bottom of the pack.”
Dominic Fedee said there was need to face reality and put corrective measures in place.
He described as shocking, the non-inclusion in the SLTB report, of cruise ship arrival numbers.
Fedee told the news conference that according to the UWP’s research, the cruise ship numbers are not good.
He revealed that some cruise ships are projecting that in 2016, cruise calls will decline by as much as 56 percent in one cruise line.
Fedee called on Tourism Minister, Lorne Theophilus, to either explain why the cruise figures were not published or release them.