Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, has told reporters that the Allen Chastanet administration is ‘very encouraged’ by the continued growth of the tourism industry in 2018.

‘Year to date preliminary figures suggest that we – year to date February, suggest that we are at five percent increase over the buoyant season we had last year,’ the minister told reporters during a pre-cabinet briefing Monday.

‘The month of February – month on month over 2017, we actually increased by 6.4 percent,’ Fedee explained.

He said the United States market is doing very well, recording a 14 percent increase, while the United Kingdom registered a growth of 10 percent.

‘The Caribbean continues to show very good signs of improvement as well – at 2 percent,’ Fedee told reporters.

The minister explained that yacht arrivals improved ‘substantially’ with a 30 percent increase despite past challenges.

However Fedee warned that the achievements would mean nothing if policies are not in place to ensure that the growth results in increased economic participation and penetration on the local populace.

As a result, he observed that the government is pressing ahead with village tourism.

‘We believe that this will no doubt be the single largest policy prescription that this government will institute in this financial year, so we are hoping that by the second, third quarter of the year, we would have had the organisation up and running. So it will become the hub for marketing, standards, training, registration and helping small business people  to really run a successful tourism business,’ Fedee explained.