Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Chastanet Says No To Calls To Diversify Away From Tourism

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Former Saint Lucia Prime has brushed aside calls to diversify away from the Island’s vital tourism industry, asserting that the sector is the largest foreign exchange earner, employer, and linkages back to the economy.

“The idea of people talking about we need to diversify from tourism, no, we have not even begun to explore or take advantage of the opportunities of tourism. But by growing tourism you create diversification,” the former Tourism Minister asserted.

“Your agriculture sector is going to be much stronger, your manufacturing sector is going to be stronger, your offshore financial sector, creative industry are all going to be stronger by having more hotel rooms,” the opposition leader noted.

He questioned whether Saint Lucia had reached capacity, pointing out that Aruba, with seventy square miles, has fifteen thousand rooms.

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Chastanet told reporters that Saint Lucia, with 238 square miles, has five thousand.

Therefore, the United Workers Party (UWP) leader declared that Saint Lucia is at the infancy of what tourism has to provide.

And he observed that given what is happening worldwide today, governments must find the silver lining in every problem.

Chastanet noted that lamenting does not solve problems.

According to the Micoud South MP, tourism is the sector creating economic opportunities for this country.

By way of example, he pointed to Saint Vincent and Dominica.

“The Dominicans recently got a flight to Miami – three flights a week and they’re celebrating,” Chastanet stated.

However, he observed that Saint Lucia sometimes has two flights in a day to Miami with daily flights to Atlanta.

In addition, Chastanet said this country has flights to Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York, Paris, Montreal, and other destinations.

“Potentially down the road we can generate flights into Latin America. What industry is creating that opportunity for us? When you say to yourself only five thousand rooms and that’s what it is generating, far less if you had fifteen thousand rooms. Not only would you have more flights, but cheaper flights,” Chastanet expressed.

“Everyone benefits,” the former Prime Minister declared.

Headline stock image: Tourists shopping at Vendors Arcade in Castries before COVID-19 pandemic

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. Hello Lucians, the Fox would like to say something, so please listen.
    THE DAMN ELECTION IS OVER – so cool it. Every Tax payer have a right to speak their minds.
    It appears that every time a Parliament member says something, some of us become overly abusive.
    Surely we all, including me, have a democratic right to voice our opinion; an opinion do not give us the privilege to be abusive with insults.
    Some of us don’t seem to care what others abroad think about you, but the name of St. Lucia must remain clean – if not Holy – so can we keep it clean? One particular guy, the highgrade in his rant is completely dirty and uses words that should not be printed, however unfortunate but that’s his job.(May the Almighty Father keep Blessing the ones He loves, and forgive the others, for they know not what they say or do; Amen)

  2. ST. lucia Vs Aruba, the comparison don’t make sense; Aruba, much like Barbados, is relatively flat. On a flat plane you can do anything. St. Lucia is blessed with beautiful mountains and Hills, Valleys and Rivers, try to find that in the other two. You can’t build Hotels every where in St. Lucia, but tourists love to look and enjoy the Mountainous areas. Barbados have had a long history of British History and settlement; makes a difference. Aruba, smaller but flat like a Pan Cake. We need both, Tourism, agriculture and whatever Industry in between.
    Father God in Heaven, look down on this Rock, we need your Blessings at this time; Amen.

  3. @Laborian. Oh please! Understand? Of course we do . . . unlike you. Do you even take time to think before you write? Do you think it prudent to, as a country, to focus on tourism alone and nothing else? Do you see that, if done, as a threat to our security? Your boy Chas has always had a lot of words but in reality that’s all they are . . . just words. The man is a bonafide ignoramous and, of course, a real A55H0le!

    • Did you know that You can bring your point across without being antagonistic and disrespectful ?

  4. We need to develop a product that distinguishes us as a Tourist destination. How many tourists do we get from China which is the largest tourism market? Printed T-shirts and straw hats made from coconut palms have long outlived their shelf lives. We need to be creative.

  5. There is nothing wrong with having tourism. But we must have other industries. this is required for our economic survival. there is no ands ifs or buts. we must seek to support the manufacturing sector. we used to have one in soufriere. now its the jamaicans making our blue soap which barely last and is much smaller. the government must make manufacturing a priority in these times.

  6. Are you people Bat-$hit, F’n crazy!??
    The only reason you exist as a nation is because of tourism. That and that alone. Nobody wants your stinking bananas, they are nothing special.

    Fully exploit and master the tourism industry. Become “thee major tourist destination” in the Caribbean. Be better than Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba. Right now you’re not. Not even close!
    Then and only then seek other opportunities.

    • @Paleface, what do you know of Saint Lucian history? “The only reason you exist as a nation is because of tourism.” Are F**King crazy 🤪

      Yes, now banana isn’t the thing but how the heck can you talk about only tourism? For example, COVID-19 taught us a lesson. Had it continued on an upward scale there wouldn’t be any tourist visiting the island, so to only pay attention to tourism in this day and age would be a disaster waiting to happen.

      No one is saying to stop tourism altogether but explore other avenues which would benefit the people of this country and not someone who owns a hotel and isn’t Saint Lucian.

      Go learn some history and come back again.

      • Paleface f#@k off you racists c#^t. Quite a few St Lucian built their house and put the children through schools and not just any schools universities because of the banana industry

      • The entire world was affected by Covid. That point is not applicable. Every industry, not just Tourism was affected.

      • I suppose your idea of diversification is to use your left hand instead of your right hand when you hold it out begging for table scraps from Taiwan. St. Lucia has a beggar’s mentality.
        Instead you should consider getting good, getting extreamly good a the one major industry that you wake up to each and every day. That is “Sx3” Sun, Sand, & Sea. You’ll not prosper from anything else. You have nothing else at your disposal.

  7. Does he even know what “diversify” means? I understand his self interest in the industry but to think that we should not put our eggs in more sustainable baskets like food and agri is just pure asinine! Tourism is the most fragile industry on our planet….its like you must beg other people to come to our country for us to survive…this makes no sense especially for us decendents of colonialist ruled slaves.

  8. Diversification is always a good idea having all your eggs in one basket is alwways bad investment strategy

  9. The current state of affairs in the world, should be a wake up call to all of us, including governments. There are too many factors, natural and man made that can disrupt the tourist industry, which make it unsustainable. There is nothing negative about diversity. We should never let up on agriculture, which, when markets become volatile, leaves us with enough to eat. We must always strive to be self sufficient. Tourism have causes the abandonment of farms and have turned a once hard working population into beggars.

  10. Oh well the jackass speaks again now we know why you were such a terrible tourism Minister. You would think Covid would have teach you one lesson…..well stick around for a next one or better yet the war drums are beating stick around for when things gets tough and people stop traveling in drives then you will know what time it is.

  11. Some lucians have to read and understand that is why the government will take you all freedom of speech..every time you all see chas Some of you all itching..look around you all and see the mentality of the present administration..

  12. Why can’t you all stop the politics entirely. Find ways to help grow the economy so we all can benefit as well as the youth. There is alot to do in the country and you morons just fighting with each other. Fight crime and domestic abuse and etc… not each other. Those behaviours do not grow the economy. Freedom of speech I want to see peaceful st.lucia. I know some of you will come for me for speaking the truth but it has to be told.

  13. Tourism will die, with wars but we will need food, and other commodities that we can start building now, our own juices, soaps, flour, rice. If we begin now when the real famine come at least we would have something to depend on.

  14. Not one hotel was built under this clown no income support for misplaced hotel worker during the COVID 19 pandemic the very same workers who you and your little boy Fedee said keeps the country moving. NIC could only afford to provide assistance for 6 months our own money some are still unemployed and yet you speaks. F#@k off!

  15. The message demonstrates again, the myopic view of the ex PM putting all his eggs in one basket.

    Allen, you’ve got Tourism in your blood and have been in the industry for years.

    You were PM for 5 years can you let us know how many rooms did you increase SLU’s room stock by?

    All these links you had the privilege to rub shoulders with big wigs within the industry and you couldn’t bring 1 new hotel to St Lucia?!

  16. what he said is so true cause look when covid hit and the place was on lock down and when we were slowly opening the country back up the amount of vendors that took to the streets selling all kinds of agriculture because there was no one to buy it from them, cause hotels were not buying cause money was low and no tourist at the time.

    Even at your home farmers were coming with their vehicles asking people if they wanted to buy they produce which never happened before and you were getting good deals cause most of the produce would just go to waste.

    so i do agree that growing tourism you create diversification. Also yes it is true it cant only be tourism and you would say what about agriculture and you can very well see that even Agriculture took a big hit because most of us are to lazy to do a garden to plant something for our very own to eat not to mention the wickedness that banana farmers have gone through with people who dont even own a single tree but they getting big salaries which you as a farmer dont motivate you to continue in the banana industry so with this attitude how can agriculture in saint lucia really grow on its own

  17. Jack***… diversification doesn’t mean to shut down or put a stop to the tourism see sector’s grown you ignit, it simply means to build other sector’s, strengthen them so that when Plandemics happen we will not be stuck like we were. You home country Canada did just that you sorry excuse of an education!!!!

  18. Jackass… diversification doesn’t mean to shut down or put a stop to the tourism see sector’s grown you ignit, it simply means to build other sector’s, strengthen them so that when Plandemics happen we will not be stuck like we were. You home country Canada did just that idiot!!!!

  19. I dont understand when you were the pm for 5 years it was very difficult to get information for your office or from any minister people had no idea what was happening in government. Now everyday you have to post messages as a young person is people like your self that make me hate politicians stop your nonsense. Just appose for apposing sake. COME OUT AND TELL US WHERE ALL THE MONEY GONE. tell us about JACK LAMB, ect and i can go on

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