Thursday, September 29, 2022

Fedee: Saint Lucia’s Tourism Industry Way Behind Required Pace

- Advertisement -

Press Release:– After showing signs of recovery, the tourism industry is way behind required pace when one examines the St. Lucia Tourism Authority report on the sector ending December 2021.

The SLTA’s annual report on tourist arrivals shows that after almost two years of COVID 19, the sector is less than at the halfway point from its pre-COVID 19 levels.

Total Tourist arrivals declined in 2021 by 34% or 153 366 less visitors than 2020 (a year rocked by COVID 19).

Many would recall that in 2019 St. Lucia recorded 1.286, 149 overall whilst 423, 736 of those were Stayover arrivals, visitors to hotels. In 2021 the overall number of visitors are down by 34% and almost 75% less than 2019. Therefore suggestions by the Minister of tourism that the Industry is flourishing are at best misleading.

- Advertisement -

In breaking down the various subsectors of the industry, the Tourism Authority as at December 2021 revealed the following:

Yacht Arrivals are down 79.1% when compared to years 2020

Cruise arrivals are down 68% when compared to year 2020

Stayover arrivals are up 52.4% when compared to the previous year but way below 50% of where it was in 2019.

Looking at the sector by various markets, the SLTA would reveal that the sectors’ performance was carried by the US market which recorded double digit increases when compared to 2020 but rebounded by 79.4% of its 2019 levels. In 2019 the US market recorded 191,719, in 2020 it recorded 67,967 due to COVID and in 2021-152,248.

This was as a direct result of the United Workers Party’s robust and insightful approach to the reopening of the industry in 2021 which took into account three things:

  1. The 15,000 tourism employees who were out of work and were unable to pay their bills.
  2. The unprecedented number of airlift available due to the global lock down of the industry.
  3. The significant fallout of government revenue over 300 million dollars and decimation of wider economy triggering one billion-dollars’ worth of lost activity.

It was during this precarious time for regional and global tourism the United Workers Party led administration was able able to convince the airlines to agree to a set of practical and safe protocols, in an era when there were no vaccines. Our engagements with the aviation sector resulted in historic opening of new gateways to St. Lucia and yielded additional ones. They include:

  1. A historic American airlines flight out of Dallas
  2. A historic American Airlines flight out of Chicago
  3. Return of American Airlines to JFK airport after several years of no service from New York City.
  4. A historic Jet Blu service out of New Jersey
  5. Reopening of most gateways previously serviced by the previous pandemic

All of this happened whilst the now Minister of Tourism lead the clarion call by the then opposition SLP to close our borders and derided myself, former Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and the then Cabinet of Ministers for making the decision to restart our tourism industry. Had we listen the Minister, we would have been in a worst position today and way behind the rest of the Caribbean in the recovery of our economic mainstay.

Low Load Factors

Further, It has become extremely urgent now that a robust and proactive strategy be deployed to bolster the load factors (number of occupied air seats) to the island. This comes in the face of data which shows that the average load factor for the month of January 2022 is 51% with some airlines reporting as low as 35% on some days. If the island is plagued by low load factors during the peak winter month of January, it undermines our ability to convince the aviation industry that loads would improve in the summer months, our traditional off-season.

Amend COVID Protocols

There can be no question that from the inception of the pandemic, COVID protocols have been a major impediment for global travel. However I wonder whether today the unfounded and baseless statements made by the previous regime whilst in opposition has now come back to haunt them. Have they paralysed their ability to make sound scientific decisions to optimize the thin balance between lives and livelihoods?

There are loud calls regionally and locally by the tourism private sector to make the protocols for the industry more competitive especially in light of the UK government’s announcement a month ago, that travellers on the return home to the UK no longer require a negative COVID 19 test. Therefore, St. Lucia has the opportunity to be a trendsetter and pioneer a whole new era in COVID travel in the Caribbean.

Both the UK and the US have very high vaccination rates and hotel employees have a pretty high take up too. But the current SLP administration has tied its hands because they have told us that a targeted approach to managing COVID is wrong.

My hope is that sometime soon, the SLP regime will be big enough and do the right thing in the best interest of jobs, wider economic recovery for taxi drivers, vendors and retail shops. The clock on our race against time has started to tick!

 

Statement by former Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee, currently Leader of Opposition Business in the Senate

- Advertisement -
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.

23 COMMENTS

  1. This GUYANESE, Dummynick Fedee forgot he asked his cabinet to fire people who was opposing him when he was minister. so he better shut his mudder corn.

  2. Fedee you are waste of time , please educate us on all the corruption that existed in the last five years in your administration .

  3. There is an issue with St Lucia’s quarantining rules, visitors having to spend up to two weeks in a hotel on arrival to the country at their own cost even after going through all the protocols i.e testing negative before travelling. This needs to be looked into!!

      • Please see below taken off the UK webste today:

        Quarantine requirements
        The St Lucia Tourism Authority website has the protocols for unvaccinated residents and unvaccinated non-residents that apply for the first 14 days. Unvaccinated residents must go into state quarantine and send a confirmed booking in advance, or get exemption for home quarantine in advance of travel. Unvaccinated non-residents must stay in COVID-certified accommodation. The website has details of certified activities for this period.

  4. Not sure why Hilaire and others are using 2020 figures to compare to last year’s’ figures when 2020 was a disaster year. Everything stopped. 2020 is not our usual numbers.and now ecomies have opened you will by all means see some improvement. So I agree with Fedee when he said that the figures that SLP are praising is misleading. We need to compare figures of 2019 or 2018. Then we can see a true picture of how our economy is improving. As we continue along.

  5. @Honesty You say ‘we’re” but you “Need to get citizenship anywhere but here.” You not one of us then. U the one who did the analysis and write the statement for Feedee?

  6. @Truth Hurts Go sit down with Mirage and here I present to you Dubai Mentality. Why don’t you take the time out to read what wickedness your White God had for the people down here in the South especially VF. The so call cruise ship terminal would have been a waste just like the horse track your White God so passionately pursuit,.have you driven by lately ?? The Absolute Shame let it stay there to remind St Lucians of his COLOSSAL FAILURE The cruise business in shambles right now I wonder where that cruise port would have been,if it was built ? If I was in that business and I am trying to keep my head above water do you think I would be willing to sink thousands in that right now you must be crazy. .

  7. @Truth hurts pearl of the Caribbean the hoses came by plane had to live by boat. Horses before hospital. If someone get injured at your horse track they would have to be taken to a stadium. God forbid we have a mass casualty at the airport. Both you and your white God Allen Chastanet can f#@k off to rat island.

  8. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hear him ,hear him, everybody’s tourism is behind pace….EVERBODY. Most if not all Caribbean countries are just trying to pick up the pieces after Covid you fool. Out of a job and just trying to stay relivant BYE CLOWN you are never coming back.,

    • You talking “we’re” as if you in oneness with St. Lucians but you “need to get citizenship anyway but here?” You did these data analysis for Fedee? You’alls tan. U Chas new bright ideas foreign advisors, sorry meddlers and haters?

    • “We’re” in this but “Need to get citizenship anyway but here?” You not of us then. Are you the one who did the analysis for Fedee, did you TAG on a plane over here with the foreign advisors?

  9. Oh Boy. The Truth Hurts. Debunking Hilaire’s lies. Yes and there are some SLP hack who won’t like that. Some has commented. To pungtang, that buying seat thing is old. When your Taxis, vendors, communities and hotel workers are benefiting, who care about empty seats. You are sounding like the SLP in opposition. Remember Lorne and the American Airline story before and during his reign as Min of Tourism?

  10. Vieux fort hasnt developed at all under this fool tourism wise … just the north flooded with traffic… like someone said tell us how much uwp government pay airlines to fly with how many empty seats

    • Forth term of SLP under an SLP administration and what has they brought to VFort. The Pearl of the Caribbean is there to stay under Allen Chastanet. Now the SLPs are eating horse shit. Horses before Chicken Coop. The Mega Cruise Ship port was on track to start before the pandemic. The Sandy Beach development was about to start. All confirm investments for VFort just in 3.5 years. Remember VFort had a PM for 3 terms (15 years) and nothing? Just violence and crime, joblessness, prostitution etc?

  11. Listen to how these politicians trying to fool people: he clearly used number of new flight routes ( Chicago, Dallas, Jersey) as a measure of his success- Why not tell us how much government has to pay those airlines for empty seats!!!! Are those routes lucrative? Man if is a job you looking for, send your credentials to the tourism authority like anybody else! I agree with Odin ” bye Felecia!”

  12. Fedee has discovered that he has to work twice as hard to fool the little girls when he’s not a minister

Comments are closed.

TRENDING

Subscribe to our St. Lucia Times Newsletter

Get our headlines emailed to you every day.

spot_img
Police Probe Discovery Of Partially Decomposed Body In DenneryRead
+ +
Send this to a friend