Ministerial Address To The Nation
On The Occasion Of World Tourism Day
MONDAY, 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2004
As we observe World Tourism Day 2004, tourism is the single largest contributor to economic activity in St. Lucia.
In the year 2003, tourism arrivals to St. Lucia surpassed our best previous best year, i.e. 2000. We welcomed over 276,000 visitors to our shores. Preliminary figures for this year, 2004, show increases over last year in both stay over and cruise tourism.
Any discussion on economic activity must be about benefits for the people. The St. Lucia government has over the last seven years made the sharing of the possible benefits from tourism, the main thrust of its tourism policy.
We have been successful in formulating and implementing an extensive heritage tourism development programme to foster greater linkages between tourism and rural communities. This programme has led to the successful development of many of our historic assets and cultural resources in these rural communities. These assets are now part of our product offerings to our visitors.
Internationally, the World Trade Organization and the International Olympic Committee had jointly proposed a theme for observance of World Tourism Day which this year falls on September, 27th 2004, The selected theme is “Sport and Tourism: Two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of society”. This theme is appropriate and timely. Those who doubted our capacity to retain our winning ways in cricket must think again after the thrilling victory of the West Indies at the ICC Finals. With our own St. Lucian Son Darren Sammy in the team.
In their joint statement for World Tourism Day, the WTO and IOC describe sport and tourism as powerful forces for development, stimulating investment in infrastructural projects like airports, roads, stadiums, sporting complexes, hotels and restaurants.
In 2007, St. Lucia will host one of sports biggest events to be hosted by any country. This event will challenge our capabilities – though essentially in tourism, but more generally in service and quality, and by extension in competitiveness. Cricket World Cup in 2007 is an opportunity for us as a people, a destination and a country competing on the world stage to become world class, whether we are on the field playing, in a hotel, in a restaurant or at the market selling our craft.
When the government decided to construct the Beausejour Cricket Grounds many questioned the wisdom of this decision. The results are not only a modern state of the art world class facility, but an invitation to host a world sport event which will create opportunities, not only in tourism, but in other economic activity in the country.
St. Lucia will have to deliver goods and services at world standard in transportation, accommodation, security, commercial rights, entertainment and general support services.
Service is not relative to size, it is an attitude and philosophy that must become part of our culture which in time must aim at earning our country a reputation that assures present and future benefits and profit.
The Government of St. Lucia will create the necessary infrastructure and enabling environment to enable tourism planners to make maximum benefit of the opportunities created by the presence of thousands of visitors visiting our island before, during and after World Cup 2007. Tomorrow, I will introduce in the House of Assembly sunset legislation that will make generous concessions and incentives available for present and potential investors in our accommodation sector. These incentives will cater for hotels of not less than six rooms, luxury villas or apartments, condominiums and hotels. The only obligation is that the accommodation must be ready and available to host visitors for World Cup 2007. Later, other incentives will be announced for other areas of activity for World Cup 2007.
It has been said that St. Lucia will benefit from the legacy effect of the event. People from all over the world will not only hear and see our island during the matches, but will visit our island before, during and long after to be part of that historic era. Visibility for St. Lucia during the games will essentially be as a cricket venue, but the impression of people who attend the matches and view it on television will be lasting and a perfect marketing opportunity for our tourism industry.
As we ponder on these two living forces, Sport and Tourism – as vehicles for mutual understanding, culture and the development of St.. Lucian society today and beyond 2007, let us individually embrace the philosophy of pride in self, in service and in standards. Let us co-operate as a people and show the world the rich cultural offering of our country. We must use that opportunity to develop and share our art, handicraft, music, poetry and performing arts with the thousands of visitors in the region for the weeks of competition. There are no boundaries to any realistic expectations if we plan, unite, think and work together for ourselves and our country.
I am confident that our people will live up to expectations and deliver a successful World Cup. I am sure we will witness Darren Sammy striding with talent and pride to the wicket at Beausejour, making his mark at the games.
On this World Tourism Day 2004, I want to personally thank all the workers, investors, service producers and administrators in our tourism industry who daily labour to maintain good standing for our tourism product in the competitive global environment. The government of
St. Lucia appreciates your continued contribution to our economic well being and encourages the mission of quality, pride and professionalism for our tourism industry. A pleasant World Tourism Day.
I thank you.
© 2012 CompanyLongName. All rights reserved.
Read our privacy guidelines.