Hilaire Takes Chastanet To Task Over Dubai 2020 Expo Remarks

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Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has taken issue with opposition leader Allen Chastanet’s remarks regarding this country’s delegation to the Dubai 2020 Expo.

Chastanet had accused Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre of misleading the people of Saint Lucia to minimize the backlash for hosting bigger 43rd Independence Day celebrations in Dubai rather than at home.

And the opposition leader and former Prime Minister asserted that his administration never planned to include any officials from tourism.

“They actually increased the size of the delegation,” Chastanet said of the current Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) government which swept to power in a landslide after July 26, 2021, general elections.

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However, Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire, who was part of the delegation to Dubai, has refuted the opposition leader’s claims.

“I have the correspondence that the leader of the opposition when he was Prime Minister wrote to CIP asking for 1.2 or 3 million EC dollars to finance tourism authority and participating in the Dubai Expo. And I will give you copies of the letter,” Hilaire told reporters.

“The same gentleman who now says they had no intention of including tourism as part of promotions at Expo,” he stated.

The Castries South MP also said he had to respond to Chastanet’s assertion that the labour government only participated in the Dubai Expo because the process had started under the previous administration.

Hilaire recalled that he served as Permanent Representative to the Bureau for International Expositions, assessing various cities worldwide for the hosting of Expo 2020.

He observed that Saint Lucia supported and voted for Dubai, the eventual choice.

“The Expo goes beyond labour party or UWP. It’s an international event,” the Deputy Prime Minister declared.

“Saint Lucia was scheduled to take part. When we came into power in July, we found a budget – the monies provided through the CIP of about $US 600,000 for Saint Lucia’s participation. That was supposed to be in addition to what the government of the UAE would be providing for participation,” the Castries South MP observed.

He told reporters the government reviewed the matter and concluded that if Saint Lucia would spend such a sum, the country should try to make it count as much as possible.

“We then said we did not like what they were planning to do. In fact they didn’t really have a programme of activities as such. They were going to bring people over to Dubai. I can tell you in the budget the Prime Minister’s office had over $US 300,000 out of the $500,000 odd US allocated to it. Think about that. In the 500 odd thousand dollars that was allocated to Dubai Expo, over $US300,000 would fall under the office of the Prime Minister who was then Allen Chastanet,” Hilaire revealed.

But he said the labour administration did not agree with what was in place and thought of expanding the participation.

Hilaire explained that the expansion would include more creative artists from Saint Lucia to expose the country and a chef introducing local cuisine.

In addition, there would be someone involved in fashion to show off clothing, CIP to promote itself, and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) to sell the destination along with Invest Saint Lucia.

“We wanted to extend the participation. We thought it was not enough to have a twenty minute cultural presentation in the morning but we were going to have a full-fledged cultural presentation in the evening and invite all of Expo to join us,” he noted.

Hilaire expressed the view that in many ways, Saint Lucia created hype and buzz at the event and in the Middle East and North Africa region because the island invited tour operators and investors to see and learn about this country.

On the benefits of participating in the Expo, Hilaire, whose portfolio includes investment, referred to CIP numbers for the last three months of the year.

“You will see a noticeable increase. We can actually track a number of applicants to our presence in Dubai – people who visited the pavilion and the buzz we have created in that part of the world by being there,” he stated.

Hilaire also mentioned contacts made with people who want to buy sea moss from Saint Lucia and data regarding sales of condiments as distributors asked for items from this country

“And you will hear a lot about tourism, the same tourism they said we should not be wasting time to promote in that part of the world,” he asserted.

And Hilaire disclosed that he has a follow-up call with Dubai’s Tourism Minister on Tuesday.

“At the same time they were saying we should not be reaching out to Dubai and that part of the world, Trinidad – Caribbean Airlines were saying they were in discussions with Qatar and signed an agreement with Qatar to set up airline services. Not only Saint Lucia that is looking to move into the space,” Hilaire declared.

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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.


  1. There were people on that trip who should not have been there. Mr. Helaire should have addressed the make -up of the entourage and not just the size. During the height of COVID we learned to use technology to get business done from home. Now, the tax payer funded trips have started again. I guess we’re truly back to normal, smh.

  2. I bet all the globe trotting by Allen Chastenet cost more than the Dubai 2020 Expo. Office of the Prime Minister do the calculations and inform the public please.

  3. Dr Hilaire don’t take on Chastanet, we know him to be a qualified LIAR. We Marigot people want you to concentrate om repairing our roads instead.

  4. As Hon Chastanet stated it was supposed to be CIP, The Arts and Expo St Lucia. Now you have made it clear that these 3 were successful. Housing, trade and Tourism? Why would the Dubai’s Min of Tourism contact you when there is a large emphasis on domestic tourism? Please can someone tell me? Is this guy lying again? Why not China? The largest tourism market?

  5. The new amazona versicolor and his boo……..traveling at the country’s expense. He alone that must get opportunities whilst fighting down others. 5 years soon come and we the people will take you out the same way we put you in.

  6. “St Lucia created A HYPE and A BUZZ at the event in The Middle East and North Africa Region because the island INVITED TOUR OPERATORS and INVESTORS to see and LEARN ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY”…THE ABSOLUTE SHAME OF IT !!! What in God’s name were they thinking !

  7. Oh please helie, we all know the independence nonsense you had in Dubai was not part of it… the monies were only for the expo. So please where did the balance of the monies come from? Was it from CIP. The Dubai trip was only for expo and helie you know damn well that all your bandwagons you brought alone had no reason being there. Time will tell, I wonder why keken is so quiet.

  8. I still don’t understand why they all had to be there. Let Export Saint Lucia handle that business. It was an Expo and their project. There was no need for these ministers and their entourage of friends to make it the carnival that it turned out to be. They were all on a bon temp at tax payers expense and then saying it was already paid for. Each minister was earning a tax payer funded per diem. I don’t know why loud mouth minister of housing needed to be there and then to be showing himself partying in London. Never see come see come crazy. Tactless, classless behaviour. Why was the whole tourism entourage present? To what end? Why were all the red boys present? This was just a bon temp by the travel thirsty SLP who wanted to stick it to the opposition. I’m ashamed to call myself an SLP. I voted for different not for these little boys and girls to globe trot with their FFF whilst the people who put them there are left to collect crumbs or be told that the treasury is empty.

  9. Helair only your old ass hacks will believe Whatever that comes out of your mouth…Dubai’s people know all what we have to offer even the horse racing track they know about, one of they favorite sports but with all what was said y’all ashame…fools…I’m waiting for the first shipment of sea moss to go to Dubai.

    • Firstly Emma had no man in Dubai. So who is horning who? Frederick was there but not King Snake. But Hilaire was there with his best friends. So what romantic excursion you are talking about.

  10. That reminded me of Kenny saying he would bring cruise ship tourism to VFort in 1997. In the land of the blind the one eyed Hilliar is King. Isn’t Hiliar aware that China is the biggest outbound tourism market in the world presently? Why didn’t he go there instead. Dubai outbound tourism is nothing close to the other countries, why Dubai? With this lie I smell a rat.


  11. From day 1 I have been saying that this expo would be a waste of money….export saint Lucia under Chas justified participating in that crap with no strategy and no tangible measures of success or success criteria! Now Slp find an opportunity for a chiq fete so they carelessly attend with their hacks ( ta di oss etc), atrending live lucian music across the world for themselves when they wouldn’t attend those same events on the rock! Wth was Ezra …flicking Umpa doing there …to do what…to perform for whom? To benefit whom. Meanwhile Boo…Teddy….even bachelor(with his cultural and musical talent)..Michael Robinson…here .. dubaiwaste!!

  12. Lucian don’t allow Hill Air to fool you’ll. Seamoss, Caribbean Airlines???? You will never see that happen.

  13. I agree totally with Chastanet. waste of money just to go sleep with boy toy. lucian tax payers paying for mate to “do” other men in luxury hotel.

  14. We all know Chastnet already. His A55 always speaks before his brain can formulate a thought and because of that, his mouth gets jealous. lol

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