by Jacques Hinkson-Compton
For decades tourism has been the leading economic sector in Saint Lucia. New legislation is in early development but is purposed with the removal of perceived shortcomings in the industry.
Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire desires more transparency and accessibility afforded to future investors.
“There is much uncertainty in the investment climate so we are hoping this will make it very clear who gets what, where and how. The investment framework is very clear for the development industry. Beyond the accommodation sector, the Act will try to cover all sectors, so a person within tourism transportation, for example, knows exactly what is required. Likewise, anyone entering will know precisely what is required. The will reduce uncertainty and increase fairness. The more transparency we will introduce the better it is for everybody.”
The legislative framework also hopes to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit within citizens, by offering various incentives.
“We need a tourism industry that more nationals can participate in, and own. It does not make sense that the primary economic engine in Saint Lucia is not controlled by Saint Lucians. We have to ensure that our people have some level of control over what sustains our livelihoods. There is space for others, but Saint Lucian nationals should have a place as well, and the Act will seek to create that space for nationals. We want the tourism industry to be to the benefit of all.”
Stakeholder meetings will continue during the development stage of the legislation before it is presented to parliament.
Source: Government Information Service. Headline photo: File photo: Tourists shopping at Vendors Arcade in Castries (Stock image)