At a recently held press conference, Minister Fedee announced a new statutory body that will better leverage community and village assets. He said 2017 will be a revolutionary year for the island’s main industry as his office spurs more local participation in the tourism product.
“[This will] get our small hotels and apartments—get Saint Lucians to turn their extra accommodations into tourism type accommodations. In addition, a lot of our cultural and archaeological assets will better refine, develop, and promote [communities] as valuable tourism assets, so that Saint Lucia becomes a destination of more soul.”
Minister Fedee said while the effort will take an entire shift in the country’s perception of tourism, the only way to remain competitive in the tourism arena is to change the way Saint Lucians see themselves as part of the product.
“It’s very important that we mobilize the entire community and send a very strong statement to our people that there is a place and there is a role in this industry for them,” he said. “I think that one of the weaknesses of the industry has been the tremendous leakage that would ultimately come about because of its mere structure. It’s dominated by foreign investments and that’s one of the weaknesses of the industry. So we’ve got to solidify it now and utilize all of the options for revenue generation and economic development in our country so that when we talk about tourism we don’t just look at a broad figure where we say that tourism contributes to economic growth, but rather economic development.”