Hilaire: Government Wants The People To Get Most Of The Benefits From Tourism

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Declaring that the labour administration believes development should be foremost about the people, Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has spoken of empowering Saint Lucians to get most of the benefits from the industry.

“If more Saint Lucians can own this tourism industry, you’re talking about over a billion dollars every year bring brought into the country in terms of value. How much of it stays in Saint Lucia? If you can just visualise more and more Saint Lucians owning this industry and benefitting from this industry, we will all be the better for it. It will become sustainable,” Hilaire stated.

But he explained  that the model where most of the profits go overseas, will not be sustainable.

“Our people will start resisting it. Our people will start fighting against it,” the Castries South MP asserted.

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According to the Minister, it is richer tourism when visitors can enjoy the authentic Saint Lucian life and personality.

” We are right now revising the concessions and incentives framework and we will be coming out in the next few months with a new incentives bill that will actually create more opportunities for Saint Lucians to own the tourism industry. We don’t think Saint Lucians should be simply workers -yes we need workers, yes they should be Saint Lucians, but we want more Saint Lucians ownership of the tourism industry,” Hilaire told reporters on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

In invited comments, the Tourism Minister expressed that he and the government are always concerned about crime, whether against locals or visitors.

And Hilaire stated that there should be no differentiation regarding victims of crime based on whether they are locals or visitors.

“We should not get more concerned because it’s a visitor, but accept it as normal if it is a Saint Lucian that is a victim. Of course we have to be concerned across the board, ” he told reporters.

But Hilaire said the dynamics are different in managing local victims and visitors.

“It places a lot more stress on us because we have to really deal with a lot of damage control externally not just internally,” he observed regarding visitors who are crime victims.

The Minister revealed that Saint Lucia would see the launch of a national tourism public education campaign over the next few weeks.

The aim is to sensitise Saint Lucians about tourism, welcoming tourists and the approach to the sector.

Headline photo: File image Tourists shopping at Vendors Arcade in Castries before COVID-19 crisis

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17 COMMENTS

  1. NO tourists! Nobody benefits! drop the entry restrictions, get the flow of tourists coming again. Then we worry about dividing up the proceeds. IDIOT’s! you have to make the money, in order to divide the money. Drop the arrival restrictions, make us an attractive holiday destination, before everybody else beats us to the punch.

  2. But the Dennery council see nothing to do in this hard guava season but to raise the rent at the shops at the Dennery lookout point. Fix it because this is not fair after these shops suffer so much during covid time and now this government want to squeaze they necks raising the rent is always the local that suffering and the big hotels getting it good. That council chairman and the council have to go.

      • @Le Paradis
        Starbach know why he put a UWP reject with a bad reputation in charge of the council and a bunch of dekdeks that he can fool under him. These people have they plans to get rich on dennery people head. I never trust that snake

    • @Le Paradis if this is how they put the people first then they really fooled us. I remember passing there during covid and the place being shut and I wondered about those people and how they were coping. And no sooner they get to open up and curfew is removed this is what happens? This is a downright shame. The PM was on TV talking about gas prices going up all over the world but right here these poor vendors are facing rent increases after coming out of 2 years of covid hardship. THIS IS NOT PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST! And I agree with you on the point about the council chairman ……. wicked man

  3. Dr Hilaire Ms Pam of Marigot is quarelling day and night because of the condition of the road. She wants to know why you have to punish us so badly. Robert Lewis did it now you are continuing, anyway 5 years is not forever.

  4. @LAB I agree 100% the next industry is Fishing; if this war continues you will have to depend on local fish and a our own vegetables, a heck of a lot healthier and cheaper. God provided it for us with no payment back.

  5. Tourism is a fickle industry. Agriculture is the way to go. In the event of a natural disaster – the tourism industry will take years to rebound. But with Agriculture, there are a lot of industries which can be realised, for food, textiles, housing, furniture, etc. Agriculture can be easily revived after the event of a disaster. I can never fathom WHY these people want to encourage this new form of colonialism. St Lucia needs to be an industrious nation – put pride back in our way of life.

  6. Hey, Hilaire, you mean, government wants the people to get most of the benefits from Tourism after Thaddeus, Lorne Arnold and the rest of Red International have taken their share.

    • @Zelenskyy as usual the people always get the crumbs and bitter end of the stick. Those that work hard are forgotten and the boys and girls club get all the goodness and the scraps go to the people. Has the guy who tried to defraud the UK government in the rover scandal been rewarded yet? We are hearing things but rest assured we will make it our duty to petition the UK if WILL I CON is ever given a position there. This is not the type of representation we voted for. I had great difficulty getting to St. Lucia to vote and I am sorely disappointed at this man.

  7. The Persons who Benefit are Tour Companies.The Catamaran.Taxi Drivers and Vendors don’t Benifit at all carry out a Survery

    • You are right they squeazing the vendors necks in Dennery lookout point. The people suffer so much and as labour come in they raising rent on the people that is not fair. That Dennery council not for the people they for themself and they pockets. These people they put there don’t know about the struggle of the people at the lookout they just want to squeaze them out

      • I am listening to all things being said here…There are better solutions and can name lots of them. The entire St Lucia’s economy needs to be revamped from head to toe but the question one need to ask is whether there are qualified ministers who truly understands how economies works and what defines “value added” long term sustainable initiatives that contributes to the wellbeing of its citizens. Continued reliance on the Tourism and Agriculture sectors does contribute negative returns to GDP growth. This can be demonstrated and proven beyond a doubt. The number one problem with governing St Lucia is the fact that government lacks the ability to raise the necessary revenues required to sustain the economy. In reality, the Tourism industry creates inflation that is continuous. When world economy creates economic “normal” uncertainties inflation as you are witnessing gets compounded exponentially. The likes of Covid is an extraordinary circumstance to say the least. Now St Lucia faces a HUGE problems from other issues that are developing, you have not seen nothing yet cause things are going to get even worst. An easy way to witness this inflation is to try and buy a fish from a fisherman. He will say this fish is destined for Sandals and the likes so if any is left over its yours at this ridiculous price. That’s inflation you face every single day. The problem with government is that they keep talking BS about how tourism is good for the country but I can debate them till the cows comes home that this is what killing this country. I can also show these officials how they can fix the damage being created. Tourism should not be a sustainable priority because the people are suffering because of it. Tourism is at its mature state and the approach being taken to keep promoting it means only one thing, government officials don’t fully grasp /understand the damage that is being caused in the foreseeable future. If I were to run this country you will see changes like you never witness B4 and the gravy train will end here once and for all. I will say this to fellow St Lucians (yes I am Lucian) if I continue to read the BS that is being talked about I will raise enough concerns that this economy need be revamped across all sectors and policies. People don’t take this the wrong way but these comments being written have to be made stronger, you need to hit the nail on the head to make governments respect the intelligence of its population. You tell them exactly what you want and won’t tolerate and B4 long they will see that people don’t want excuses they want exactly what you want be done and no compromise. Simply ask the government why is it they need to create debt to pay normal bills. Ask them direct questions like how much money you have arise for emergency in case you get hit by a natural disaster while you are facing many at the moment. You will soon realize they are not prepared for it by any means. The moral of my comments is that Lucians should not complain anymore but hit the facts and demand change and collectively bring about the changes owe to you. There is allot of work on this country to be done for I am certain where St Lucia should have been ask I write this, not in the situation it’s in now. DEMAND ST LUCIA GO TO A MINIMUM WAGE RATE ACROSS THE ENTIRE LABOUR MARKET. FIGHT FOR IT……….

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