GIS:-The Prime Minister will Meet with Investors to Discuss the OJO Labs Call Centre.

Prime Minister Hon. Allen M. Chastanet, along with a contingent of local investment and tourism officials, will visit Miami, Florida and Texas this week to meet with stakeholders in the tourism industry including marketing and branding agencies.

The trip is part of ongoing efforts to rebrand Saint Lucia and better position the country to take full advantage of tourism markets.

The prime minister is also scheduled to meet with investors to discuss the upcoming opening of OJO Labs Call Centre in Saint Lucia which is expected initially to employ scores of Saint Lucians in the south.

During the prime minister’s absence, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives, Hon. Ezechiel Joseph, will serve as acting prime minister.


  1. I’m reflecting on our Prime Minister’s recent and most aggressive engagement of Sandals after that company announced plans to close for maintenance work later this year. The Prime Minister and his government had the most uncomplimentary things to say about Butch Stewart and his team, questioning both their commitment and contribution to Antigua and Barbuda.
    But here’s the thing; Sandals has not closed for any extended period, if at all, for the past quarter century, and many times it was the only hotel that was open, and its staff the only Antiguans who were employed, during what people call the slow season.Same as St Lucia.
    For that, the reward that Stewart and his team have received, is a slap on the wrist, nay, a punch to the face is more like it!
    It is curious that as we throw daggers at Sandals, they probably remain the only pulse that indicates tourism is currently alive in Antigua, because let’s take a look at what’s going on;

    Jumby Bay is closed from August 27th to early October
    Carlisle Bay is closed from August 19th to mid-October
    Curtain Bluff is closed from May 6th to October 28th
    Hermitage Bay is closed from August 24th to October 10th
    Verandah Resort (The PM’s good friend) is closed from August 30th to October 13th
    South Point Antigua is closed from September 1st to the end of October
    The Inn at English Harbour is closed from the end of August to November 1st

    I don’t know who else might be closed but I think my point is made. You add it all up and that’s over 620 rooms and 1,000 people dislocated.

    We must be fair. If there are personal axes that need grinding, the Parliament is not the place to do it. This is no way to treat an investor. I saw the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association send out a statement a couple days ago in which the body spoke about the importance of sending the correct signals to potential investors and financiers who may want to support development in the region’s tourism sector. The Prime Minister’s self-manufactured fight with Butch Stewart falls not on the side of stability, but sends a message of political ‘instability’ in public/private sector relations that can have a profound and damaging impact on not just Antigua, but the entire region, because we are all looked at as one place; the sum of all the parts. St Lucia can suffer from this madness and I would like to see the PM take a stronger stand. I know regional heads don’t want to rock the boat, but you can’t wait until yours has a hole punched in it.

    And while I’m at it let me say a word or two about concessions. I recently read a letter in the newspapers by a lady in Turks and Caicos Islands and I thought she made the most enlightening observation about concessions. Here’s what she says. “The grant of financial concessions and privileges is a tool of inducement commonly utilized by governments worldwide as an honest and transparent means of attracting desirable job-creating businesses and development”.

    We forget that running a successful business requires hard work, it requires money and it requires effort. We see the success and don’t take time to appreciate the hard work that Butch Stewart and his team put into making the brand a success. I have been watching the news about Hurricane Harvey and all day on CNN and Fox I am seeing Sandals ads running. We talk about what we give, but can we pay the people for the kind of effort and expense THEY put into marketing the Caribbean??
    Sometimes we suffer from political myopia with strong symptoms of sycophancy. This is no way to build a better region. When we question the fact that CARICOM brothers and sisters work at Sandals and other hotels, are we not slapping integration in the face?

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