Hilaire Says Regional Travel Decline Impacting Saint Lucia

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Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has said that the decline in regional travel is heavily impacting Saint Lucia.

“In 2019, we had just over 82,000 arrivals. Up to June this year, we had just over 9, 300 arrivals,” Hilaire lamented during an interview on the sidelines of a Cabinet meeting on Monday.

He said it was clear that the absence of a regional carrier on the scale and nature of LIAT was seriously affecting Saint Lucia.

The Castries South MP explained that as Tourism Minister, he has been lobbying for arrangements to be put in place.

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“I know our heads have taken it up. I know our Prime Minister is a champion for regionalism and for a regional airline and that he has been in contact with his colleagues. I know decisions were taken on the way forward to ensure we have a functioning regional airline,” Hilaire stated.

In addition, he recalled that a meeting last week also took decisions.

In this regard, the Minister spoke of the need for a functioning, effective regional airline to restore the airlift this country enjoyed.

Headline photo: Stock image

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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.

15 COMMENTS

  1. c-wiz i must say you hit the nail right on the head.i can’t help but to compliment you on this well written comment.its reality to the max!

  2. You just start to cry we don’t want white people..we want black people in our country HE do you remember these words?We are in a world of technology look around you can you see..and upon that worse yet you are a clueless and lazy minister of tourism..st lucians brace you all selves misery heading in our bottom..

  3. Having just travelled and returned to SLU I will say the major turn off was all this covid crap coming into St. Lucia. A ticket costs so much already. Then to add to it a useless pcr test that cost at least 100 US.

  4. I like how y’all was criticizing tourism and how we infesting too much in it, now check that.
    Y’all see how tourism benefits the economy and we all taking plock for it

  5. Ok you identify the problem so what will you Hilaire propose to resolve this issue? Once again you people in this position need to learn how to craft an intelligent and truthful statement for the people you are representing.

  6. An utterly clueless man.
    He has stated a hard veritable fact. To date we have lost over 80% of our regional travel accounting for around $65,000,000 in lost revenue.
    What are Hillaire proposals to fix this problem? Just maybe, mightbes, couldbes. He states a fact as if that is sufficient to deal with the problem but with no solutions. Is that a debating trick you learnt at university?
    People like this who live with a grandiose image of themselves in their own head have no empathy for anyone else. He honestly does not care that Lucians are suffering.
    Things are so bad the SLP paracites should be addressing the country as is we ARE IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY.
    Stop thinking about getting back at the UWP. Stop enjoying the high life and prestige of office. Stop talking travelling and taking. Actually realize that with authority comes responsibility. Please DO SOME SERIOUS WORK instead of strutting around government buildings and onto planes in the First class seats! We as a country are in serious trouble.

  7. The issue is that trips are too expensive to neighboring Islands. Who is going to pay over a grande to go just a few miles overseas for a few days? Firstly, The Caribbean has a great opportunity to develop an amazing inter-regional travel network but governments have not seized the opportunities. Secondly, there are not much one can get by traveling to neighboring Islands as the culture, food, attractions are practically the same. Thirdly, majority of Caribbean people don’t have disposable income to travel hence the industry will not flourish. Only the rich will be able to do such and as you very well know, the rich usually comes from more developed countries. To have a flourishing inter regional travel sector we need more providers in the sector … Various airlines, various ferries, cruise ships, etc etc to compete helping to drive down the price…but even though we have all those competing entities, you must have the market that is willing to spend their money to travel regionally and as I said before, the majority of Caribbean people don’t have disposable income to travel regionally….so this isn’t going anywhere fast as it is….

    Development is not just about building hotels all over the island….you must develop your people too by changing the factors that make them leave below the breadline. As your people become more affluent (for want of a better word) they will become more wealthy thus having more disposable income to travel….the affluence will naturally benefit other aspects of society. Until u develop your people then all this goes nowhere.

  8. Why travel if every few years I have to renew my passport? Plus the high taxes on travel. I used to travel all the time with my hassle-free 10 year passport. What else do they expect if they are robbing us in broad daylight of our right to travel? We are prisoners here in this $hi7h0le.

  9. You want to put $$$$$$in LIAT. We can’t travel because it to damn expensive. $1745 to go to St Vincent and $1688 to JFK…New York.

  10. dont try and put no word for liat there you said “In 2019, we had just over 82,000 arrivals. Up to June this year, we had just over 9, 300 arrivals,” is as you guys are in power things got harder that people dont want to come here like before. Its been two months if not more NOT ONE cruise ship in the harbor in castries in this closed /slow tourism season? and before it was not so. What happend to the Expo in Dubai? Hmmm they dont see the need to come to saint lucia? i though after that we would be flocked with people from there. No wonder they were not even dancing to the music umpa was singing there cause they were not interested

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