Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee, told the official opening ceremony last night of the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa that more generous tourism incentives are in the pipeline.
He observed that the Royalton had arrived in Saint Lucia at a time when the the government is taking a careful look at incentives legislation.
“I am sorry to tell you that you are going to miss even more generous incentives,” Fedee said.
He explained that the next level of investment will not only incentivise investment, but ensure that Saint Lucia also has very viable and sustainable tourism products.
“For this new government failed projects are a no-no,” Fedee declared, adding that the government wants to create the best business environment for the tourism industry to thrive.
He urged the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa to expand by building more rooms.
“We want to encourage you to don’t stop there but continue – do more,” he told Royalton officials last night.
Fedee said he had noticed that there was still some extra land.
“The place is not filled as yet – so please, build some more rooms, we need some more accommodation so that we can drive economic growth and create more employment in this country,” the minister urged.
He explained that Royalton has come here at a time when Saint Lucia is in the process of transition in the tourism sector – from a tourist board to a tourism authority.
Fedee said the move would depoliticise the marketing arm of the tourism industry and give the private sector a bigger place at the table.
He stated that this would result in greater collaboration between the government and its strongest ally, the private sector as they move forward to market the tourism industry.
According to the minister, this country’s biggest tourism problem now is that the room stock is mostly five star.
The minister told his audience, which included Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and other government officials, that as a result, the rooms attract a higher price.
But he asserted that it was a ‘good problem’ for Saint Lucia.
“Saint Lucia has now graduated to a five star product and a five star destination and Royalton has complemented that well and further cemented that,” Fedee declared.