Newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee, continues a familiarization visit today to a number of properties on the Island.

The Rendezvous, Harbour Club and Windjammer Landing resort are on his schedule for today.

The  Tourism Minister’s two-week schedule will also take him to Soufriere and the South of Saint Lucia, began with visits to the St James Club and the Rex resorts.

Fedee was accompanied by top Tourism Ministry, Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association and Saint Lucia Tourist Board officials.

The primary intent of the familiarization visits is to not only to acquaint the minister with tourism product, but more importantly to begin the discussion and even debate with the private sector and even in some cases, the public sector, to reform the tourism product and the industry, the Times has been informed.

The focus is on meeting hotel managers, owners, staff and regular guests to discern issues of importance to them and learn of the challenges they face in terms of the growth and development of tourism.

Issues of crime and security, access to and use of the beach by not only visitors but residents were among matters that came up during yesterday’s series of visits.

The issue water quality at the beaches and whether sick leave by hospitality industry staff is being abused were also discussed.

Tourism officials have noted that some of the issues were “low hanging” in the sense that addressing them would not require much.

However it was observed that other matters would require more attention, including cabinet intervention and a consideration of local cultural biases.

This was particularly true of the discussion of a reported decline in the wedding market for regular heterosexual marriages, according to reports.