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Castries Market and Vendors Arcade Down for Attention says Tourism Minister

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Thursday, January 25, 2007 Senator the Honourable Allan Chastanet has invited the Saint Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association to assist his ministry in enhancing the state of affairs at the Castries Craft Market and the Vendors Arcade.

As the minister addressed a full house at the SLHTA's 43rd Annual General Meeting on Wednesday January 24,2007, he related his own first-hand findings, having paid unofficial visits to both places.

I had the opportunity myself, to go into the Castries Market and the Vendors Arcade across the street and what I saw there were a number of very depressed people. And I saw a lot of people who are not adjusting to what the reality was because everyone I spoke to complained about the heat that was preventing people from buying things but the reality is almost 90 percent of the people there, are selling the same thing and in fact its gotten so depressing that they are buying it from the stores that they are competing against.
The tools - the tourism minister suggested - needed to uplift these two essential tourism products were a new vision and new ideas.

I also went to the Vendors Arcade and it was just ironic again to see an opportunity where the front of the arcade was on Jeremie street and the back of it was on the waterfront. Yet the most expensive land to get in St. Lucia is the waterfront and wouldn't it be nice if that little restaurant Monty's was jazzed up and there was a little band stand that was opened there? You put some tables and some umbrellas and you have a great party going selling margaritas and pina coladas and make it a fun party so when the cruise ship passengers are coming from their ships and see what's going on there - they would say - I want to be part of it.

Minister Chastanet said there is a need for a change of mindset where the conduct of business is concerned.

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