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Opportunities to increase island's tourism market share exist says tourism minister

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Contact: Amanda-Faye Clarke


Friday,  December 11, 2009  The ministry of tourism in its ongoing efforts to implement the Tourism Strategy and Action Plan, held a meeting to discuss the way forward for the Saint Lucia Tourism Industry Advisory Council.


Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Council last week, Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister, Senator the Honourable Allen Chastanet, said the prospects for growth of the local tourism industry look promising.


Minister Chastanet said much work is being undertaken to take advantage of the losses recorded by neighbouring Central  American countries due to the H1N1 epidemic and social unrest.


“The coverage of crime in Mexico in the US has been extensive, and again speaking to a lot of operators and everybody else, they don’t believe Mexico is going to recover this year and possibly the year afterwards. This means that the opportunity for stealing some market share is there.”


Minister Chastanet said through the Tourism Advisory Council, tourism stakeholders will have an avenue to harness their various agendas in ways that will maximise visitor returns to the Saint Lucia.


Officials at the ministry of tourism, he said, have been successful at securing reliable and frequent airlift to the island from new markets.


“In the Canadian market we are continuing to see buoyancy. I’m hoping very soon we will be able to announce that we have been able to retain flights throughout the summer from the Canadian market. As you know, we have also been able to enter Germany for the first time in a long time; what’s on the table right now, and we are in the process of finalising it right now, is that CONDOR will be flying on a year-round basis.”


The Saint Lucia Tourism Advisory Council is mandated to recommend workable public and private sector action plans to improve the island’s competitiveness in tourism.


Last week’s meeting was held under the theme: “Consolidating Our Gain and Strategizing for the Future”.

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