CASTRIES: Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has announced that St. Lucia’s tourism industry is on a slow but steady rebound.
During an awards ceremony at the Windjammer Landing hotel in St. Lucia last week, Dr. Anthony noted a 4 per cent growth in arrivals as an important sign of light at the end of the tunnel.
He said although the industry is currently in a tumultuous period, there are signs that the sector is recovering and confidence in investment has also received a boost as illustrated by plans by many properties to expand.
“After several years of decline when hotels did not invest in new plants, equipment, machinery and employees, we are now slowly beginning to see a turn around,” said Anthony. “Over the last few weeks I have noticed at Cabinet meetings that a number of hotels are seeking incentives to expand, refurbish and renovate. That has not happened over the last two years.”
Anthony also addressed plans by Windjammer Landing to expand its 116 villa property, located on the island’s northwest coast.
He said the decision to expand at this time was “critical and vital”, not only to the tourism sector but to the country’s economy.
“I am informed that the plan is to construct another 28 villas and a spa, so imagine for a moment the additional number of St. Lucians who will get employment not just in construction but in those additional villas that will eventually come on stream,” he said.
Anthony, who is also finance minister, exhorted employees in the sector to continue to do their best in maintaining the service which has granted the destination much acclaim.