Wednesday 15 July, 2020

Fedee responds to 'unfortunate, sad' SLHTA statements

Tourism Minister Hon Dominic Fedee

Tourism Minister Hon Dominic Fedee

Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee spoke out today against statements that the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA) had made regarding a lack of communication from the Government.

SLHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy recently penned a letter to Prime Minister Allen Chastanet expressing her concerns about the ‘precarious’ state of the tourism industry.

In her letter, Troubetzkoy made an appeal to the government to review the entry requirements for visitors and highlighted the impact that such restrictions have on the businesses which depend on tourism.

Troubetzkoy also requested more consultation between the public sector and the SLHTA.

Fedee responded earlier today saying that while he agrees that some of the protocols need to be reviewed, it is sad that the SLHTA has made allegations of a lack of communication from the government.

“The protocols which they mentioned I think we discussed it with the aviation sector and it is a real factor that we may have to review those protocols. A statement that suggests that there is a lack of consultation is absolutely unfortunate and I think it goes against the facts or the chronology of the events. This is further from the truth and I want to debunk this as absolutely false.”

The tourism minister continued saying that the government had met with tourism-related organizations, including the SLHTA, fifteen times during the last two months.

“We’ve met even before the tourism industry was shut down in early March with the hotel sector to see exactly where they’re at, we’ve met with the taxi sector, we’ve met with the board of the SLHTA to unveil our reopening plans.”

He indicated that four out of nine members of the SLHTA are part of a task force organized by the government.

Fedee explained that people all over the world are facing a health crisis and are anxious about their businesses and jobs, so when contemplating reopening protocols the government must do so with the health and safety of St Lucians coming first.

Since the mandated testing protocol has proved to not be practical, the government is willing to revise and proceed it in a clinical, calculated and measured manner.

The SLHTA president’s letter called for an urgent sitting with the prime minister and relevant ministers to address concerns ranging from entry requirements and labour issues to sector-specific concerns about the logic of the prescribed phased opening strategies affecting SLHTA members.

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