Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee has recorded a video message to Caribbean people, thanking all who visited this country last year.
The Caribbean has grown to become Saint Lucia’s second largest tourist market behind the United States, tourism officials say.
“”There were some 65,000 of you who came,” Fedee observed in the message to Caribbean people that was posted on social media.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Minister observed that now COVID-19 has reduced that figure significantly.
In his message dubbed ‘To our Caribbean brothers and sisters with love from Saint Lucia,’ Fedee stood on a beach against a scenic background.
“When you look at beaches such as the one I am on, it’s missing you. It’s missing your vibe, it’s missing the colour and its missing the fun which you would normally have,” he explained.
“And so we are asking you at this time to take heed to the warnings of your public health officials. Ensure that you remain safe as we keep our destination safe so that when you are ready to travel, we are ready,” he declared.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a major blow to this country’s vital tourism industry.
But just recently Prime Minister Allen Chastanet touted the resilience of tourism in the face of criticism that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed the disadvantage of Saint Lucia’s dependence on the industry.
Chastanet, a former Tourism Minister, recalled that after 9/11 the fastest industry globally to have responded and bounced back was tourism.
“If we look at the financial recession, despite the drop in the market the tourism industry came back even quicker than other industries,” he observed.
He declared that even with climate change, the resilience of tourism has been evident.
Nevertheless, Chastanet made it clear that tourism and agriculture do not conflict with each other.
“You can actually have a strategy of doing both,” the PM explained.