Boat tour operators receive PPE donation ahead of reopening
The Ministry of Tourism has taken action in response to the prevalent need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as the island gradually returns to normalcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Ministry on Wednesday, June 8, 2020, contributed some PPE to boat tour operators, fifty-six of whom have been given the green light to resume operations.
According to Tourism Officer, Samantha Charles, the Ministry appreciates the sector for its immense contribution to the country and empathizes with the individual operators, employees and their families by extension whose livelihoods were among several severely affected because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We would like to do every little that we can to give the assurance that the Ministry of Tourism cares, so whatever way we can reach out to our tour operators from whatever sector we endeavour to do so as COVID is a reality that we must live in,” Miss Charles said.
The Department of Maritime Affairs collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism in making the donation and ensuring that operators within the sector adhere to the strict guidelines and protocols in place when operations resume on July 10, 2020.
Maritime Director, Christopher Alexander (Left), Tourism Officer Samantha Charles (Right)
“From the onset, the Maritime Division at the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) saw it fitting to work as a team to protect our nationals and see how quickly we could commence operations for the boating sector which has been impacted by the COVID and we know the financial pain that our boaters are going through,” Director of Maritime Affairs, Christopher Alexander said.
The tour operators welcomed the donation which they say will go a long way as they seem eager and excited to resume operations.
Managing Director of Joe Knows Tours, Josiah Castang says, “It has been very difficult for us as boaters and God knows how tough we are taking it and that is our only main income and livelihood so anyway that the Ministry can assist us, we are very thankful and appreciate it.”
The efforts are part of an ongoing initiative by the Ministry of Tourism in supplying thousands of PPE units to stakeholders within the sector.
Just recently, a similar donation was made to taxi operators.
The donations included hand sanitizers, gloves and facemasks.