The Senior Communications Officer for the government of Saint Lucia, Nicole Mc Donald, has declared that there were ‘significant excesses’ at the former Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB).
Mc Donald made the comments Monday, while responding to a question at a news conference concerning the resignation of Agnes Francis as Chairperson of the successor Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA).
She praised Francis for having done great work at the SLTA, asserting that the former SLTA Chairperson continues to have the confidence and respect of the government.
“She has done an excellent job in terms of transitioning the Saint Lucia Tourist Board to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority,” Mc Donald noted.
She said it was not an easy task.
“You do remember the types of things and the concerns that we uncovered at the tourist board when we just came into government,” Mc Donald told reporters.
“There were some significant excesses – there were some pointed things just in terms of the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and how the Tourist Board was spending some of the money allocated to them.”
Mc Donald said the government has made the SLTA focus on the marketing aspect of the Island and not so much on events planning which was proving to be a source of distraction for the predecessor Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
She disclosed that Francis was able to achieve that.
According to Mc Donald, a new board for the SLTA will be appointed soon.
She expressed the view that Francis will continue to work with the government in ‘other capacities’ going forward.
“Just because she has resigned it does not mean that she will not have input into the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority going forward because she helped to craft it. So I would anticipate that Ms. Francis would be assisting the new board – the new Chairperson in terms of going forward.”
“People have their plans and you can’t force them to go in the direction that you would have liked,” Mc Donald explained.