Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, has told reporters that he believes that this year is the year of the revolution for local participation in the hospitality industry.
“I say so because we are getting ready to launch an agency whose primary focus will be on the development of our communities and villages, to leverage those assets better than we have into very strong tourism products and tourism projects,” Fedee said.
He disclosed that the agency will be a statutory body, standing alone.
Fedee explained that the body will encourage more local participation in tourism, including getting locals to turn their extra accommodations into tourism type facilities.
He said a lot of Saint Lucia’s cultural and archaeological assets will be better refined, developed and promoted, so that the Island will become a destination of more ‘soul’and stay ahead of the competition.
The minister said Saint Lucia will not be a destination that merely offers a beach in the sun, but much more including romance, culture, dance and poetry.
He told reporters that the government looks forward to the establishment of the new agency.
The minister explained that the government has been ‘toying’ with the name – Village Tourism Incorporated.
However Fedee stated that the idea is constantly being refined as the authorities look to see how the overall concept can be developed.
He revealed that later this year there will be a tourism summit bringing together major stakeholders in the sector, with a view to developing a strategic plan for the entire industry, generating greater cohesion between the public and private sectors.
“So you will see both parties singing from the same hymn sheet and maximising the opportunities before us for growth, for development and for enhancement of the industry,” Fedee said.
He expressed the view that in the coming months, Saint Lucia will be a different destination than it is now.