Press Release:– On Thursday 6th August 2020, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Philip J. Pierre met with the Board of Directors and CEO of the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA) to discuss the status of the industry in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the reopening of Saint Lucian borders to source markets, in particular the US which is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 virus, and significantly, to identify measures to cushion the impact on the thousands of hotel and tourism related workers who have been displaced, many of whom are likely to be made redundant.
Directors of the SLHTA, representing a cross section of Saint Lucia’s tourism industry, were
each given the opportunity to elaborate on their sector specific concerns, highlighting
in particular the potentially disastrous effects of prolonged business closures for destination
management companies, tour and site operators and other tourism related businesses. SLHTA representatives in attendance comprised of the SLHTA’s Executive Committee: Noorani Azeez – CEO, Karolin Troubetzkoy – President, John Mathurin – 1 st Vice President, Erwin Louisy –2nd Vice President.
Other Directors included Kirk Elliott, Corey Devaux, Winston Anderson, Sanovnik Destang, Orlando Satchell and Sean Devaux.
The SLHTA confirmed its commitment to the industry and its workers but warned that the slow recovery curve of the industry with reduced visitor numbers and low hotel occupancies
would affect the island economy for a prolonged period of possibly 24-36 months, with many jobs lost and businesses shutting down permanently.
Hon. Philip J. Pierre, a former Tourism Minister who facilitated the most successful period of
expansion, business linkages and diversification of the tourism industry in Saint Lucia,
reaffirmed his support for the sector.
He reminded the Association of the proposals he had made for a national “Economic Relief and Stimulus Programme”, which would have unquestionably aided in generating business for the local economy and providing support to stakeholders. However the authorities had ignored these, underscoring the Government’s unwillingness to consult or to heed advice.
He supported the SLHTA’s call for the Government to strengthen its partnership and dialogue with the Association in order to better manage the issues facing the industry, which is responsible for approximately 65% of the country’s GDP.
As the Saint Lucia Labour Party continues to prepare to serve the people of Saint Lucia as the next elected Government, we remain committed to consulting with all sections of the society to prepare programmes and policies which will lift the country out of the current
economic crisis and be beneficial to all Saint Lucians