In announcing several Investment projects planned for 2019, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has stated that the government seeks to ensure that all-inclusive resorts do not dominate the hospitality sector.
In a recent post on his official Facebook page, Chastanet said as the Government of Saint Lucia moves to ensure that the benefits of the expanding tourism industry accrue to all nationals, a concerted effort is underway to balance the product offering in the sector.
He disclosed that pending tourism investment projects include the rebranding of the Rex Properties at Rodney Bay.
The PM also said that the Rex Saint Lucian is to undergo reconstruction.
“The Rex Company is now in a joint venture with the Sunwing Travel Group,” he stated.
According to Chastanet, government has insisted that the resort be based on the European Plan which is priced only for lodging.
“We have agreed in principle to renew the lease on the property on the condition that the resort is built to be a 4.5-star product or higher, that has a significant EP component. Government will not support an exclusive all-inclusive hotel on that site because of the existing commercial entities in the area,” the former Tourism Minister explained.
He revealed that Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) has completed transactions with a Barbadian-based firm to buy the lands at Choc for a 400-room Hyatt Hotel, which will be a mixture of the European Plan and all inclusive,with construction due to begin in the second half of 2019.
The PM observed that Invest Saint Lucia has also signed with the GP Group for the development of a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and Conference facility at Pointe Seraphine, with construction earmarked to begin in February 2019.
“In addition to building yachting facilities in Phase One, Phase Two will involve redeveloping Pointe Seraphine with shops on the ground floor and office spaces upstairs. The aim is to get greater utilization of that prime piece of land. Dedicating it to the cruise industry by itself will not be sufficient for economic sustainability,” the Facebook post said.
It added that on the local investment front, Saint Lucia Distillers is to undertake an upgrade of its plant and the development of a tourist attraction at a cost of $30 million.