Saint Lucia has experienced what Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee says has been a strong rebound in its tourism industry, with the Island almost at the 10,000 job mark after losing some 15,000 jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) quarterly reemployment figures in tourism totalled 3, 730 from July to September, 2020; 7, 402 between October and December; 6, 015 between January and March, 2021 and 8, 251 between April and June 11.
“We are projecting a very very strong June as a lot of hotels are reporting very strong occupancies,” the Minister told a news conference on Wednesday.
” In fact one hotel has indicated that this has been his best May and he is anticipated to have his best June since the date of opening his hotel,” Fedee told reporters.
Fedee said that the Canadian government is making significant strides in its vaccination
And as a result, officials here hope that as in the case of the UK and the US, Saint Lucia will see the Canadian marker come back as soon as possible so it can help to buttress the strong rebound mostly led by the US market.
In regard to cruise tourism, the Minister said that a date will be announced ‘in the coming days’ for the first cruise ship call here.
“What we want to make sure is that this is done safely,” he told reporters, adding that a resumption of cruise calls would be good news for vendors, taxi drivers, sites and attractions and persons in the ancillary sectors.
Fedee also addressed the concern of vendors over their arcade not being a COVID-19 certified property.
“While we want to ensure that our vendors are participating in the economic benefits from the return of the cruise industry, we certainly don’t want to expose anyone to danger and we have to ensure that we are ready to do this,” the Minister explained.
“There’s a lot to consider, vaccinated against non-vaccinated passengers – the fact that not a significant number of people below the age of 18 are vaccinated. For example, how do you treat those? There are a lot of questions that we need to answer very specifically to make sure that we can feel comfortable to do this, but I am very confident and I continue saying to you that we are going to reach an agreement with the cruise lines on a set of protocols that are mutually beneficial,” Fedee told reporters.