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Discovery Opening a Sign of Confidence in Saint Lucia's Economy

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Thursday, December 7, 2006 – Minister for Tourism Honourable Philip J. Pierre has praised the developers of the recently opened Discovery at Marigot Bay for their invested confidence in the island's economy and tourism industry.

The World Class property caters to the high end visitor, a sector which Mr. Pierre said government has deliberately attempted to attract, through the adoption of new policies over the last few year.

“We know that the development of that property was difficult, but I am sure that the over 600 people employed in the construction phase and the people who are going to be employed in this hotel will benefit, the economy will benefit and St. Lucia will be at the cutting edge of tourism development,” said the minister to a large audience at the property's opening.

Government over the last 10 years, Mr. Pierre said, has been faced with the challenge of transforming the economy from a decaying agricultural based economy to a vibrant service based economy led by the tourism industry.

He said, “The tourism industry is very important to St. Lucia. Last year it earned nearly one billion in foreign exchange and the economy of St. Lucia grew by five point five percent, and that growth was led by our industry. I am particularly pleased that the government policy of encouraging high end hotels has began and has bore fruit in this property.”

The minister said the continued growth of the tourism industry is the answer to reducing the level of poverty on the island. However, he says, it can't be achieved without creating linkages with other sectors mainly agriculture.

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