SLHTA official concerned about ‘Brexit’ vote

SLHTA official concerned about ‘Brexit’ vote

The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) Executive Vice President, Noorani Azeez, has expressed concern about the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union.

Azeez told the Times that the consequent slide in the pound that accompanied the ‘Brexit’ vote concerns the vital tourism industry here.

He asserted that if this dilutes the spending power of British citizens, Saint Lucia, which is already an expensive destination, might be placed at a further disadvantage.

Azeez explained that the destination will find itself out of the reach of a greater number of British visitors.

The UK is Saint Lucia’s third biggest source market for tourists.

The SLHTA official observed that Saint Lucia has already seen an erosion of arrivals over the years.

He asserted that this could be due to increased competition for British visitors.

Azeez told the Times that the fall in the spending power of the British means that Saint Lucia will continue to be an expensive destination.

He observed that would not be very encouraging for this country’s tourism.

“I am concerned about the short term impact of the uncertainties in the fall in stock market numbers and that impact has got to be managed very carefully,” the SLHTA Executive Vice President told the Times.

He stated that the last thing anyone wants is a snowball effect that may cause England to slide into a recession.

Azeez felt this would only add to Saint Lucia’s woes.

“Some of my colleagues who are more versed in economics and policy crafting with whom I dialogued this morning, seem to think that the situation will stabilize going forward and I have no doubt that it will,” he disclosed.

However Azeez told the Times that one of his considerations was the bold statement which British citizens are making in the ‘Brexit’ vote.

He expressed the view that it may embolden other countries to rethink the value of membership in the European Union.

“If more countries start to exit, I am concerned about the impact of grant funding for small states like us, because we depend heavily on European Union development funding to finance a lot of our projects,” the SLHTA official observed.

He said against such a backdrop, Caribbean countries have to start seriously rethinking their spending habits and investment priorities.

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Sad-But-True
    June 24, 2016 at 8:38 pm Reply

    Worry about the Trio Prime Ministers in the Names of; Michael Chastanet & Son, along with Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who have now elevated to Dictatorship to destroy everything we’ve built. And history has proven, Allen fails at everything he touches.

    1. A O Popo
      June 25, 2016 at 9:02 am Reply

      Are we going after the South American and Chinese tourist?

      1. Anonymous
        June 25, 2016 at 12:18 pm Reply

        I found st lucians do not know marketing

  2. Tony Orilla
    June 25, 2016 at 7:56 am Reply

    This guy is right to worry. It’s challenging to predict exactly what will happen but the one thing that you can bet on is that changes will be coming.

    It’s sad because St Lucia just had elections and there is some optimism in the air, especially because the new PM comes out of the tourism industry and likes to really push the benefits of the sector. This is of course the big reason why not to put all of your eggs in the same basket. Tourism could be for the next 3 to 5 years an underperforming area.

    This is a very big historic event and one that should not be taken lightly. For the past 40 to 50 years the big push around the world has been toward greater globalization, hitch has meant that most people around the world (and those living on islands such as SL) have benefited in some way. But this vote is all about rejecting globalization, making immigration and borders much much tighter, and closing things down.

    People who live on tourist oriented islands shouldn’t panic at the moment but they should be very concerned, especially those who rely heavily on the tourist industry. This is not a time to bury your head in the sand because changes will be coming. The full impact might be a few years away but already the global markets have reacted and as we’ve seen time and time again, investors have a way of sensing what is to come.

    The problem is that the UK exit will create a lot of uncertainty and problems for global businesses and corporations that operate in the region. This in turn will put a lot of pressure on the pound and we will likely see it stabilize and will float down and become more on par with the US dollar. This will directly impact places such as St. Lucia that has a tourist oriented pricing structure that has been based on the pound in the past.

    As an example, look at the prices of tourist hotels in St Lucia as well as tourist oriented restaurants. Many of these places have pricing that is based on the higher level of the pound. In other words, they are expensive for US travelers. As the pound starts to decline, less tourists from the UK will come, investments will slow, and there will be a lot of pressure to lower costs to cater to the different mix of tourists that will come to the island. The short to mid term situation is not likely to be easy. I’d be prepared for that.

    We’ve already seen this happen with the Canadian dollar over the past 6 months. Now we are definitely starting to see this with the pound. Whatever the final outcome (looking ten years out or so) things in the near future will be a little challenging. So, buckle up your seat belts …

  3. 666
    June 25, 2016 at 11:11 am Reply

    It was the right thing to do, Britain is different and was losing Her identity. Giving the EU soooooooo much money for budget, but yet the average Brit was suffering with austerity. Cameron was a total failure!

  4. Anonymous
    June 25, 2016 at 12:16 pm Reply

    Look for new markets. Planty out there.

  5. Tracey
    June 25, 2016 at 7:17 pm Reply

    This guy is daft!!! How can he be so pessimistic and negative. Was never impressed with him

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