CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Saint Lucia’s new tourism minister says renewed emphasis will be placed on tourism, the island’s top foreign exchange earner, so the industry can continue to lead economic development and employment in the nation.
Delivering a short New Year message, Lorne Theophilus, Minister of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, assured travel partners at home and abroad the Caribbean island nation would build on its successes as a premier Caribbean tourism destination with laser focus on marketing, product development, linkages as well as investment in its people.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us,” he said, calling on all hands to be on deck – both in the public and private sector – to move Saint Lucia forward in today’s highly competitive travel and tourism environment.
Minister Theophilus, an attorney-at-law, reported successful meetings with members of Saint Lucia’s private sector since the new government’s election to office in November, and thanked the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association for its partnership to work closely with the ministry and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
The parliamentary representative for the southern village of Choiseul asserted he looked forward to fully integrating creative industries and heritage with tourism, because “you can have all the fancy hotels and restaurants you like – but visitors will return to Saint Lucia and the Caribbean because of the people they meet – our creativity and our heritage.”
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis said the new minister had seamlessly settled into his new position, and the Board looked forward to building on Saint Lucia’s successes over the past several years. “It will not be business as usual in 2012, but we are resolved to continue positioning our island as an ideal spot for romance, rejuvenation and adventure in the Caribbean.”