The fallout from the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, including the impact on oil prices, is a source of concern for Saint Lucia’s vital tourism industry, the CEO of the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Industry (SLHTA), Noorani Azeez, has said.
“It is a significant concern for the industry and something that we are monitoring very closely,” Azeez told reporters this week.
The Independent Senator explained that since it reopened during the COVID-19 pandemic, various issues have increased operating costs in local tourism.
While industry officials are comfortable with the current average daily room rates, he did not believe there’s sufficient ‘trickle through’ of stay-over arrivals to the communities.
“In addition to that the high cost of operations has really compounded the situation so contractions in the supply chain is something that has really affected limitations and access to goods and services we need to provide for the needs of our guests and as unfortunate as this is, we are keeping our fingers on the pulse,” Azeez explained.
“We have already had discussions internally on what are some of the products and services that we feel are going to take a direct hit, possibly as a result of this,” he stated.
“I think we have to look at our own consumption habits,” was his response to the question of possible remedial measures.
“When we look at so many of these geo-political forces internationally, some of these exogenous shocks that have continued to impact our economy year in year out, decade after decade, we have to do a better job of looking at what we can source at home. We have to look at what we can consume that is home grown. We have to do a better job of strengthening trade with other regional partners,” Azeez told reporters.