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More Forward Planning in order to Take Advantage of Added Potential of Tourism Industry

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, November 06, 2002 - St. Lucia on Tuesday, November 5th, 2002 joined other member countries of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in celebrating Caribbean Tourism Day under the theme ,“Tourism: A Tool for Sustainable Development.”

In an address to mark the occasion, Tourism Minister Honourable Phillip J. Pierre said although

St. Lucia’s tourism industry employs approximately twelve thousand people and earned some $629 million in 2001, the figures represented a fraction of the worldwide tourism industry. Given the tremendous potential for growth he said, government was fully appreciative of the need for policy development and forward planning if the industry was to be sustained on the island.

“With the increasing global competitive environment of the tourism industry, the Government must develop policy that will offer both vision and practical assistance to businesses that wish to operate within the tourism sector. Some of the areas under consideration are the tourism product meaning accommodation; services; attraction; linkages and marketing, investment facilitation airlift and visitor safety, the underlying theme being the sustainability of the industry,” said Minister Pierre.

Government he noted was developing these policies in full consultation and partnership with its private sector partners.

Surveys indicate that the majority of visitors to the island’s shores selected St. Lucia for its natural beauty, followed by culture, heritage and the hospitality of its people. According to Minister Pierre, protecting the island’s natural and cultural environment equates to protecting the livelihood of thousands of St. Lucians and the sustainability of the industry as well. Government he exclaimed would continue to provide guidelines and assist wherever possible. However Minister Pierre has called upon other private sector interests to vigorously pursue new and innovative approaches towards further developing the industry.

The Ministry of Tourism is currently working on a number of projects aimed at raising the standards of the tourism product as well as further improving its quality. The projects include reform of the taxi transportation sector, standards for accommodations, restaurants and other tourism services like tour guiding and tourism vending.


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