St Lucia: PM wants hoteliers to redefine approach
CASTRIES, St.Lucia, July 21, CMC- Prime Minister Kenny Anthony has called on hoteliers to redefine their approach to the industry and do more to improve quality and mutually beneficial partnerships.
Addressing the 49th annual general meeting of the St.Lucia Hotels and Tourism Association, the Prime Minister said developed countries such as the United States and Europe, which are major source markets for the industry, are currently jostling for number one status as visitor magnets. “The economic benefits of travel and tourism are immense and no country can afford to ignore this fact in their future developmental planning.Nowhere in the region has escaped the volatility of investment in the tourism sector. Hotels and resorts in the Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Antigua, and Cayman have been bought and sold as a result of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s,” he said. The Prime Minister told the weekend convention that players in the tourism industry must look at “the bigger picture” and concentrate efforts on discovering what today’s traveler considers value for money. He said future development in the industry must concentrate on finer details: “I believe if we place a critical eye on the details, on quality, on excellence, on being better than any other, then there is no. Doubt that we will see growth–that our occupancy rates will be high, that visitor spending will go up, that our profit margins will look a lot healthier than they might be now.” However he acknowledged this must be done “within the context of industry standards and best practice, while creating a unique experience.” He said the Government has a responsibility to pursue all paths of economic growth, but “public-private partnership is more than just desired it is necessary” to achieve any goals set for the tourism industry.