Hilaire Believes ‘People’s Tourism’ Will Lessen ‘Naysayers’ – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire believes that tourism that focuses on the people and allows them to benefit more from the industry will reduce the number its critics.

During Monday’s regular pre-cabinet press briefing, Hilaire spoke about his belief in ‘people’s tourism’.

He explained that he had asked for a national education campaign to promote it when he first became Minister.

The Castries South MP stated that if the people of Saint Lucia understood that tourism is an economic opportunity to better their lives, they would feel less estranged from the process.

The Minister stated that, as a result, the country would have a better industry.

Hilaire noted that the Philip J. Pierre administration had invested in community tourism and granted concessions to ordinary Saint Lucians to invest in and own more of the sector.

” We have to show our people that they can benefit more from tourism. It is why we are lobbying the hotels and other service providers to pay higher salaries to our people so our people can benefit more,” he told reporters.

The Minister declared that if people cannot see more significant benefits from tourism, they will rightfully be cynical.

” So we must fight for them, we must fight for better salaries, we must fight for more opportunities,” Hilaire expressed.

Noting that Saint Lucia has no diamonds or oil, he described tourism as the country’s natural resource, including the Island’s extraordinary beauty and its people’s welcoming nature.

In this regard, the Minister stated that the people should own more of the industry and benefit from it.

“That’s the kind of tourism I want, and I think the more we can achieve that, the fewer naysayers we will have,” Hilaire told reporters.

STOCK PHOTO: Female visitor examines items a craft vendor in Castries has displayed for sale.