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Tourism minister says martime office will soon be established to facilitate yachting sector

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Contact: Amanda Faye Clarke

Friday, November 20, 2009 – Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Senator the Honourable Allen Chastanet, says government will soon establish a maritime office within his ministry. The initiative which was recently approved by Cabinet, will work on establishing a ship registry system focussing primarily on the yachting sector.

Minister Chastanet says government will continue to build on investments made by the Island Global Yachting(IGY), in providing world-class support and docking services to the yachting sector, making Saint Lucia the capital for yachting in the Southern Caribbean. “ We often see the boats come here for ARC, spend 2-3 weeks and then motor off to other destinations in which they can get better repairs and better support facilities. I think the level of investment IGY made here in Saint Lucia, with the addition of the mega yachts really opened up this opportunity and the government fully intends to take advantage of this additional input into our destination,” Chastanet said.

Minister Chastanet believes the establishment of the maritime office will afford many more Saint Lucians an avenue to learn new skills in lucrative areas of the tourism sector.
He says boat repairs, and fibre-glassing will be highly sought after trades in the near future.

“We think that money is not made on the duties on the boats coming to Saint Lucia. The money that's made is in the small businesses that support the yachting industry and that's how we're going to be assessing our success down the road.”

An announcement on the selection of a director of the maritime office will be made by the government in the coming weeks.

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