Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet is optimistic that the Caribbean’s tourism industry will emerge even stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Chastanet, who led the Drafting of Protocols for Tourism for CARICOM is resolute that pre-testing is the ace card for the travel and tourism industry across the world.
Noting Saint Lucia’s own success with insisting that all visitors present negative COVID-19 test results before entering the country, Prime Minister Chastanet said this model will instill confidence to all stakeholders including the economies of source markets.
Saint Lucia has welcomed some 6000 visitors since reopening its borders, a decline in arrivals of more than 80 percent over 2019. Government revenue is also down between 50 to 60 percent, and government’s efforts at reducing the unemployment rate from 25 percent to 16 percent has regressed, with the thousands of workers left jobless as a result of COVID-19.
More than 30 million people visited the Caribbean in 2019 contributing nearly 60 billion US dollars to the region’s GDP.