Saint Lucia Prime Minister Touts Resilience Of Tourism

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has touted the resilience of tourism in the face of criticism that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the disadvantage of Saint Lucia’s dependence on the industry.

Just this week Green Party leader Andre De Caires declared that Saint Lucia’s tourism basket into which the country had put all its eggs had fallen and the eggs were broken.

In making a case for the development of agriculture with cannabis as a catalyst, De Caires, who is also Chairman of the Cannabis Movement,  told St Lucia Times that tourism was ‘on pause’ for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

But Prime Minister Chastanet  on Thursday told Newsspin on Real FM that after 9/11 the fastest industry globally to have responded  and bounced back was tourism.

“If we look at the financial recession, despite the drop in the market the tourism industry came back even quicker than other industries,” the former Tourism Minister told Newsspin Host, Timothy Poleon.

He declared that even with climate change, the resilience of tourism has been evident.

Chastanet made it clear that tourism and agriculture do not conflict with each other.

“You can actually have a strategy of doing both,” the PM explained.

However he lamented that in the case of Saint Lucia, some of what is being produced in agriculture is limited by the local consumption.

“For sure tourism helps substantially in increasing that consumption,” Chastanet observed.

He made the point that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected not only tourism.

“The whole world is shut down,” Chastanet asserted.

“It’s not about tourism – manufacturing, the entire world economy has been shut down. So it’s not about whether tourism is resilient or fickle, every single industry, call centres, international financial services, markets for manufacturers – everything has been affected, the Saint Lucia Prime Minister observed.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. PM 9/11 was an act of terrorism. COVID-19 is a virus affecting people’s lives world wide and tourists are very sensitive about the health standards of the countries they choose to visit. The 9/11 act targeted the USA; COVID-19 does not discriminate. Please, don’t emulate Trump. He’s an idiot.

    • 9/11 was airplane related people feared travelling for a while. With the virus once it’s cleared which we don’t no people will have no fear to travel. In fact alot more people wana do a lil trip already. Wat we don’t no is wen it all ends.

      • Jack , stop making your self sound like a Jack A as your name indicate . The economies of the world is decimated by this virus people are thinking about how do they get food to eat ,pay their mortgage ,student loans , pay their utility bills ,their loans ,medical bills etc. etc etc It will be a world wide recovery for almost everyone.. The world will be going into survival mode so stop dreaming please wake up to the reality .In your right mind you talking about people taking trip .tell me how long you think we we well be getting out of that ?? Have you lost your mind as well ?

      • The only relation between 9/11 and Covid19 is that they both have 1 and 9 in the names. With 9/11 people had the means but feared to travel. Once they were reassured, the travel industry picked up. With CoVID19 people are fearful and there is also a huge economic impact. Businesses are closing, people are losing jobs and countries are imposing restriction on travel. the two situations are very far from being similar. The PM makes me very concerned because of his seemingly very poor analytical skills. I now must wonder what else is he getting wrong.

  2. Has Mr Chastnet lost his mind ???? Is he actually listening to his own self ???? Can someone in his administration give Mr Chastnet a wake up call ???IHas this break down put our Prime Minister to sleep ???? Some thing is definitely wrong here .

  3. Wrong comparison!..you cannot compare 9/11 and covid19 with our tourism industry…once those borders are open it’s an invitation to spreading this thing like a network….who is to say that covid will go away forever or just lying in wait like the preditor it is for its next victim…unlike 9/11 was an isolated incident….if this is the case we might aswell diverse from tourism.

  4. Chastnent fact remains you put all your interest in tourism ….no regards for Agriculture and fisheries . now the tourist bringing in the covid 19 and we all suffering the consequences . you gave the hoteliers all kinds of duty and tax break , you gave the fishermen nothing . so many uneducated ppl who depend on farming and fishing ..you continue to look down on them …

    • I have been sounding the alarm on this for some time. We are so focus on tourism that this guy is missing the bigger picture. Where are we turning to when this is all over. For those who believe that tourism is going to start strong. Keep dreaming, so many people are out of work presently that it will take time to get back to normal. St. Lucia is one of the most expensive destinations to visit. People will go to where they can afford first. Now I wonder how are we going to pay for the airport development. Instead of the public/private relationship that was initially conceived. These guys were greedy and wanted to have it all….cost and profits generated. Now we have to pay the loan without help from the private sector and without a tourism industry to help. This is the kind of leadership we wanted and this is exactly what we got. Someone will have to pay the piper soon, and it will have to be us the tax payers.

  5. If he think he will be able to feed this crap to well thinking people I truly feel sorry for him and his supporters. His administration is already asking civil servants and teachers to take a 35-65% salary reduction ahead of the IMF recommendation so it will not seem much knowing full well it will be 60-70 %. All analysis are painting a grim road ahead after corona we are close to a world recession if we are not there already. He needs to take his head out of his *** and be straight with the St Lucian People

  6. Chastanet has lost touch with reality, or just truth-smithing as usual. The perception of tourist ships is no longer the same. The foreign public is of the opinion that they are mobile petri dishes. A reservoir for germs, bacteria and other threats to their personal health. News outlets are loaded with ghastly stories of onboard deaths (awaiting burial) and insanitary conditions.
    As if to underscore the decline of that sector, the stocks of three major companies have declined 70%-75%. Investors have taken flight. They will possibly rise, but it’s not going to be overnight. They will have to claw back and receive government cash infusion. With the present financial carnage, I don’t foresee visitors arriving en masse to our sunny shores. This here is much more acute than 9/11…by far. Lastly, governments stimulus packages are much more generous than 9/11 which is an indicator of the problem at hand.
    The island must reexamine its priorities, and listen to the voices that warned of the present local calamity. Over the last few years, I heard many influential voices over the radio warning that we should invest more into our farming industry. Clearly, they were right. There was a giddy dash into the frivolity of horse racing. It now seems that our regret is like the drunk who has awoken the next morning.

  7. St Lucia is not as yet aware of the heavy price they will pay for too much dependence on tourism. Instead of agriculture, producing sugar, growing pure cannabis for sale as a few Americans have done.

    Instead so many want to follow a Prime Minister who wants St Lucians to have servant mentality. A Prime Minister who is white and rich and will be just fine. A Prime Minister who is copying USA and UK Covid tactics yet St Lucia is a small country with no welfare state, and people who have lost their jobs or have been laid off. Economically, St Lucia cannot sustain on tourism.

    All over the world people are losing their jobs or are without pay for a good while. They will not rush to St Lucia once this is over, they will stay closer to home where there is sun, for 1/4 of what it would cost to holiday in the Caribbean.

    Grow your own and support your own.

  8. The PM needs to accept the fact that St. Lucia is vulnerable to Tourism , because it is the country’s main economic stream. No attention was paid to Agriculture or Manufacturing on a grand scale. All he has to look at us how the lost of tourism has affected the human capital, the employees and thier families

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