The SLHTA signals appreciation to Government for the steady relaxation of COVID-19 protocols over the past few months.
In February 2022, the SLHTA urged the Government to urgently review several COVID-19
protocols that it felt were hindering the local tourism industry’s quick recovery from the
deadly effects of COVID-19.
Those protocols, the SLHTA had indicated, made Saint Lucia uncompetitive compared to other regional destinations that were already relaxing their COVID-19 protocols, especially for travellers.
On the heels of highly engaging discussions between the SLHTA and Government Officials,
Noorani Azeez, Chief Executive Officer of SLHTA, noted that the Ministry of Health, Wellness
and Elderly Affairs made the right decision to pursue a steady relaxation of the COVID-19
“The relaxation of these protocols is in keeping with global best practices,” he said.
“It has allowed more workers to participate in economic activity and has also thrown a lifeline to small and medium enterprises, many of which are still struggling after the lockdown in 2020.”
Azeez added that for many people, it’s an opportunity to begin servicing their loans and debts to various financial institutions and reinstated a sense of well-being and confidence for them to be able to provide for their families.
President of the SLHTA, Mr Paul Collymore who has also been at the forefront of
negotiations over the past few months opined that “Policy makers have always paid
attention to our data, made themselves readily available to hear and discuss our concerns
and share their views on our various models for improvement. Our industry continues to
benefit from such high-quality debates with authorities.”
Emerging from recent strong winter arrivals for many operators, the SLHTA has also
signalled its support for events and activities that will boost arrivals over the coming
summer, a traditionally low arrival period.
In a recent communique to authorities, the organization noted that “The decision to proceed with Carnival 2022 has had a powerful, positive impact on our industry. Numerous operators are reporting bookings directly attributable to Carnival celebrations while other micro-businesses are preparing for much needed cash injections. This economic activity will no doubt improve tax remittances, generate employment and help stabilize business activity in the agricultural, retail, and manufacturing sectors. This economic activity will also boost investor confidence, signalling our commitment to increase accommodation stock and diversify tourism services.”
The SLHTA continues to pledge its support to working with the Government in the interest
of its members, noting that cruise and yachting sectors are yet to rebound as effectively as
their stay-over counterparts.
Source: Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association