Private sector speaks to distribution of tourism ‘wealth’

The Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture appears to be concerned about the distribution of wealth in the vital tourism sector.

Writing in this month’s edition of ED’s Perspective, the Executive Director of the Chamber, Brian Louisy, observed that the local tourism industry continues to perform ‘remarkably well’ with arrival numbers growing by 10 percent.

However Louisy asserted that the challenge which the country now faces appears to be the distribution of the wealth from the lead sector.

“Continued focus on tourism arrivals without commensurate attention to who the beneficiaries are, beyond at the employee level, will become problematic, if it is not already so,” he observed.

“Clearly, attention on greater participation and benefits of the wider society in the spoils of high visitor arrivals is worth looking at,” the Chamber Executive Director wrote.

He expressed the view that this was  especially, considering the predominance of tax concessions as an incentive which appears to be only accessible to the accommodation sector and for foreign direct investment.

“Vertical integration within the Sector with incestuous purchasing and selling relationships does not augur well for local and small business sector or government revenue,” Louisy stated.

According to him, fostering of linkages must take on more specific and strategic national objectives

 

The Tourism Sector continues to perform remarkably well with arrival numbers growing by 10% year to date. Other sectors are projected to grow in 2018. The value of ensuring the economy is not over reliant on the traditional sectors cannot be over-emphasized. The challenge which the country now faces appears to be the distribution of the wealth from the lead sector. Continued focus on tourism arrivals without commensurate attention to who the beneficiaries are, beyond at the employee level, will become problematic, if it is not already so. Clearly, attention on greater participation and benefits of the wider society in the spoils of high visitor arrivals is worth looking at. Especially, considering the predominance of tax concessions as an incentive which appears to be only accessible to the accommodation sector and for FDI. Vertical integration within the Sector with incestuous purchasing and selling relationships does not augur well

2 Comments

  1. Vibz
    August 25, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    The Tourism sector is too dominated by foreigners who expatriate most of their profits to their homelands. Little of these profits trickles down to the average St. Lucian. These foreign hoteliers get the best Champaign deals, huge tax breaks and duty free concessions. Locals get the menial jobs with no prospect of getting any executive position. Agriculture and agro processing should be the leading sectors of the economy.

  2. The Righteousness of God in Christ.
    August 27, 2018 at 6:28 am

    New Testament Verse of the Day:
    And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.

    –Jude 1:6

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