Letter to St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony on tourism sector

| November 3, 2014

Caribbean news. Dear Dr. Kenny D. Anthony: I attended the Town Hall meeting in Boston for Saint Lucians on Friday, October 31, 2014. The special guests included the Minister of Tourism, Hon. Lorne Theophilus and St. Lucia’s Marketing Manager in the US, Mrs. Lorraine Charles St. Jules. Whereas my interest was in understanding the potential of the Boston market to justify a Jetblue direct flight, what interested me most was more revealing. The Minister of Tourism, Lorne Theophilus, informed the small crowd, that his ministry will be launching a marketing initiative aimed at getting St. Lucians in the diaspora involved in the marketing of the island’s tourism product (Gems of Saint Lucia concept).

He went on further to state that there are currently over 6,000 travel agents promoting the island and earning income and he believes that St. Lucians in the diaspora should be doing the same while earning income for themselves. Brilliant. The minister also stated the the concept will be launched in..he paused and got the acknowledgement of the Marketing Mrs. Loraine Charles St. Jules, that the concept will be launched in February 2015, in time for Saint Lucia’s independent celebration.

Photo courtesy www.slaspa.com

Photo courtesy www.slaspa.com

Excellent. Mr. Theophilus, with a certain degree of uncertainty, further stated that Saint Lucians will be able to sell the island using their Ap and generate income. My questions to you are as follows: Does the St. Lucia Tourist Board, an arm of Government, have the mandate to engage in selling rooms and or other tourism products in North America? How will the revenue for these transactions be recognized, if the Tourist Board has the mandate to sell rooms? Will revenue collected be deposited in the treasury?

Assuming that the Tourist Visit Costa Rica – The Costa Rica Tourism Board does not have such a mandate, is a separate entity being formed to facilitate this process? And if a separate entity is being formed to facilitate that process, are you aware of such entity and or have been informed by your Minister? If the Tourist Board does not have the authority to engage in these transactions, why is the government’s assets, personnel, being used to facilitate this entity?

Is there a case of conflict of interest whereby tourism officials will be engaged in focusing their time and energies away from destination marketing to marketing specific tourism products on the island resulting in a discrimination against the properties which are not being marketed by this entity? I await responses to these initial questions…Phillip J. Pierre, Jadia Jn Pierre, Vincent McDoom, Miguel Evelyn-Fevrier, Frank Charles, Wayne Vitalis, Minerva Ward, Jason Sifflet, Rohan Roaks, Moses Jn. Baptiste, Alva Baptiste, Ronald Hinkson.

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