New Bill Intends To Bring Tourism Benefits To More Saint Lucians – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

A ‘transformational’ bill will come before parliament soon, to bring tourism benefits to more Saint Lucians.

“We need to create a framework in the country where more Saint Lucians can participate and own the tourism industry,” Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire explained.

He was addressing reporters at a news conference last week.

The Tourism Development Bill intends to include more Saint Lucians as participants and owners in the tourism industry.

The government expects the bill to change the tradition of providing incentives primarily to large hoteliers.

“We believe as a government that the tourism industry, the benefits of tourism should accrue to as many Saint Lucians as possible,” Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire explained.

He  also spoke of the need to create a framework for more locals to participate, own the industry, and move away from the notion that tourism belongs to a few who benefit from it.

Hilare said that’s why there is emphasis on community tourism and support through the Community Tourism Agency to help Saint Lucians invest in tourism.

“The Tourism Development Bill will change the entire framework,” the Minister stated.

” As it stands now, the incentives legislation is primarily for accommodation. We want to be able to offer incentives to all sectors in the industry,” Hilaire said.

He declared that the government would ensure that Saint Lucians at all levels get support to invest in tourism to become owners in the sector.

Hilaire noted that all local attractions, including waterfalls, beaches, and forests, are part of the heritage of Saint Lucians.

“Therefore, if that’s what’s bringing the attraction to Saint Lucia – the warmth of the people, then the people should benefit more from the tourism industry,” the Minister asserted.