Tourism Development Bill Promises Shared Prosperity for Saint Lucians

Tourism Development Bill Promises Shared Prosperity for Saint Lucians

Photo courtesy: Caribbean Business Report

Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire introduced the Tourism Development Bill in Parliament describing it as a groundbreaking legislative initiative which will redesign, refine, restructure, and reinvigorate the tourism industry.

Dr. Hilaire told Parliamentarians that the Tourism Development Bill will ensure “Saint Lucians can participate more in the tourism industry and can own more of the tourism industry”.

The new Tourism Development legislation will establish a Department of Tourism, provide for the creation of a Tourism Development Fund and a Tourism Information Database.

The new Act will also make provisions for an industry-wide certification program “ensuring that every single tourism sector partner directly involved in tourism will offer a product or service that meets or even exceeds national, regional and international standards”.

Minister Hilaire noted that there is no formal registry of the persons, products, and services within the tourism sector.

He argued that this data deficiency “hinders progress in that the government is unable to collect sufficient data to plan for development and ensure the minimum standards are being met.

Consequently, the ministry is not able to accurately determine which operators require technical assistance to deliver better quality services”.

The legislation also details incentives for tourism development and consolidates the Tourism Levy with the Ministry of Tourism “transitioning from a passive facility/regulator to a progressive, purposeful and proactive revenue generation agency”.

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