A press release from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority says that public and private sectors have arrived at a consensus that the demands from Virgin Atlantic Airways were too onerous on the destination.
The release noted that this was made clear at a meeting last Saturday chaired by Tourism Minster- Honourable Dominic Fedee, at Harbor Club.
“During the meeting, some hoteliers subscribed to the view that paying a large subsidy of EC $20 million over a three-year period for the carrier’s 7% global contribution to Saint Lucia’s arrivals would create a ripple effect with other carriers to follow suit,” the release stated.
It further quoted Minister Fedee as saying that in proactively addressing the situation at hand, the Government of Saint Lucia has already commenced dialogue with other carriers from the United Kingdom and will also continue to explore global options for more airlift into Saint Lucia.
“We understand the possible impact that the British carrier’s withdrawal can impose on the industry, however the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is committed to effective ways of building ‘Brand Saint Lucia’ with the investment of additional revenue to increase robust marketing and advertising efforts globally,” said CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority-Beverly Nicholson-Doty.
According to the Tourism Authority’s release, last Saturday’s agenda also welcomed questions from the audience, which were met with satisfactory responses. Concerns arising at the meeting included local hotels taking a collective position to Booking.com new website commission policy of 15% on Service charges paid to hotel employees.
Hoteliers also provided positive feedback on the recently held seventh annual Saint Lucia Showcase, which welcomed 22 buyers from North America who sell Saint Lucia as a primary market.
“The general positive feedback expressed at the industry meeting is encouraging and at the SLHTA we stand ready to assist our sister organizations and our general membership in the development and management of the hospitality industry,” Said CEO of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, Noorani Azeez.
Progressing collaboratively towards an improved tourism product, the Ministry of Tourism, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) and the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) will continue to meet with industry stakeholders to share concerns, ideas and recommendations that would seek to advance tourism locally.