For St Lucia to work, for Soufriere to work, tourism must work, says planning minister

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(Left to Right) Herod Stanislas, Lenard Montoute and Dominic Fedee

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lowered the COVID-19 travel advisory for Saint Lucia from Tier 4, ‘very high’, to Tier 3, ‘high risk’; meanwhile, the level of COVID-19 remains high on the island and travellers are urged to be full vaccinated before coming to Saint Lucia. This has not tempered campaigning for the general elections, inclusive of being very obstinate and self-willed.

According to Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), public relations manager, Geraine Georges the island saw an 81 percent recovery of the US market in May 2021, compared to May 2019, prior to COVID-19.

As the general elections campaign intensify, so is the verbal countenance of government minister, in what is called Flambeau Forum – an opportunity to flame up the tongue, absence of thought and five +plus years in office without social and economic gains.

At last Sunday Flambeau Forum, minister for physical planning, Herod Stanislas, stated: “For Saint Lucia to work, for Soufriere to work, tourism must work. There’s no doubt about it. In the Soufriere constituency, this dollar; this tourism dollar goes to every nook and cranny. There’s a trickledown effect to the barbers, hair salons, shopkeepers, bars, restaurants, farmers, fishermen and butchers. Every single person benefits from the tourism dollar in Soufriere.”

In accordance with tourism, Lenard Montoute, minister for equity, social justice, local government and empowerment, also explained, that: “Due to the pandemic, we were stuck in a significant way in Gros Islet. Many of my constituents are involved in the hospitality and service industries; and all those industries were shut down completely, sending everything into a tailspin. Now that we are seeing a gradual reopening, people are breathing a sigh of relief. The kick-starting of the economy is a welcome sight. Many of our people are beginning to go back to work and not a day too soon. And so, that will help alleviate the suffering and hardships that many families experienced.”

According to Montoute: “As a country, we are now able to return to the course the United Workers Party (UWP) set back in 2016, which we were already reaping the benefit of before the pandemic.”

In relation to Montoute comments three articles came to mind, namely:

In relation to physical planning Stanislas (AKA) No Talks – this speaks to a one-directional cultural dependency on tourism and the deprivation of knowing otherwise. In the light of such, perhaps reading a series of articles listed here, would suffice.

On Monday, June 14, 2021, the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOH) confirmed new results from CARPHA in relation to gene sequencing for variants of concern, stated: “We have noted 19 more cases of the British Variant (B.1.1.7) in-country bringing the total number of British variants diagnosed in-country to 41.  All of the new cases are nationals. The majority of the variants are from Babonneau, Gros-Islet and Castries.”

The MOH also announced confirmation of “five new cases of COVID-19 from a batch of 143 samples that were taken from June 11 to June 13. The total number of active cases in country stands at 95. The new positives bring the total number of cases diagnosed in country to date to 5,185. At present there are 79 COVID-19 related deaths. The daily infection rate for the past week was 3.2 per 100,000 per day. The majority of the cases continue to be seen in the southern region of the island, Babonneau and Gros-Islet in the north,” said the MOH on Monday.

As of Sunday, June 13, a total of 29,655 individuals have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and 20,589 of those have also received the second dose.

However, in a country where positive assurance is hard to come by, perhaps the revelation that “nearly half of the inmates (approx. 500) housed at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) are fully vaccinated, director of corrections, Hilary Herman disclosed to Loop News Monday.”

However, minister for tourism, information and broadcasting, culture and creative industries, Dominic Fedee, on Flambeau Forum and in the continuance of the blame game, uttered in his usual obstinate and self-willed:

“I remember when we assumed office, the numbers were significantly down in cruise arrivals. Now, this is significant for people who work in the Tourism and attractions subsector; taxi drivers at La Place Carenage and also Pointe Seraphine. It would mean that they would have less ability to make money. This would also mean the same for the vendors at the market, the vendors at the vendor’s Arcade; and all the beach vendors who rely on tourists to rent chairs on our beaches.”

Indeed, Flambeau Forum, “has not had the easiest of times, particularly when it comes to public perception,” however, the utterances of ministers as conveyed – with conviction –lives up to – “the truth is what you believe the truth to be,” Allen Chastanet.

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