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Minister Fedee addresses mismanagement at SLTB

By Ministry of Tourism

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Dominic Fedee

Dominic Fedee

PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Tourist Board is now entering a period of significant transition.

Minister for Tourism Honourable Dominic Fedee on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 spoke at length in Parliament to explain why Government was compelled to make some pivotal moves to restore the viability of the island’s main economic driver and foreign exchange earner – Tourism.

He said the Government of Saint Lucia aims to achieve greater results from the tourism sector in the areas of visitor arrivals, cruise tourism and yachting.

The Minister told the House of Parliament that the emerging statistics on visitor arrivals for the island along with a diagnosis of the financial standing of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board both present dismal findings.

Minister Fedee surmised that some of the responsibility can be apportioned to a lack of clear direction.

“There seems to have been a focus on the Land Based Tourism Sector and there wasn’t any clear mandate to promote the island as the destination of choice that it should be for cruise passengers.”

The Tourism Minister added that: “Cruise passenger arrivals year to date to Saint Lucia records a 19.6 percent decline.”

Minister Fedee said it is very concerning that the Board fell below its target figures in several key areas, including the UK and Canada markets, cruise and visitor arrivals.

“We also found our main entity to market our destination the Saint Lucia Tourist Board in a very bad financial state. In fact, the financial statements are showing that the Board started the financial year at 2016 – 2017 with payables from 2015 to 2016 of over six million dollars. So while the Board had to contend with dwindling budgets because of policy decisions made by the  previous dispensation, we saw that they were starting flat-footed with a debt of six million dollars.”

The 2016/2017 budget of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board the Minister disclosed appears to have been almost exhausted by September.

“With a budget of 34 million dollars for the financial year 2016/17 the Board had already spent 26 million dollars by the end of September and so of the remaining 8 million, 4.8 million dollars was allocated for administrative expenses and 3 million dollars was committed to contracts to UK airlines to operate as marketing, creative and public relations agencies. No allocation was made in the Budget to cover the payables which continue to be of much concern to the functionality of the Board. Eleven million dollars was allocated to the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival and in actual expenditure was in excess of 14 million dollars.”

“This represents gross mismanagement and did impede the Board from carrying out its main function of marketing Saint Lucia as effectively as it should.”

Under the circumstances he announced that the Government will take the bull by the horns and usher in a period of transition and transparency to address the perilous state of affairs at the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.

The Minister said the time has come for change and the industry has begun to take steps to rescue the island’s mainstay from suffering further losses.

Minister Fedee said when the financial audit of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board is completed; he will report on
the findings and make the results public.

(14)(3)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

13 comments

  1. "When we look at where we came from?" Where did we come from? We came from bananas fool!!

    Such a stupid argument. STOP. Right now all that concerns us is market share and profitability so why do you want to concentrate on increased numbers? I have already pointed out that even Iraq and Syria has tourism and it may very well represent an increase in their numbers. But does that translate to any profit or substantial benefit. STOP USING YOUR EDUCATION AGAINST YOURSELF.

    (0)(0)
  2. Before dominic turned politician, that jazz festival filled his then employer's hotels in the low season, I didn't hear him complaining.

    (4)(4)
  3. Stop the excuses and take it from where it was left off. Stop depending on tourism. They spend more money to lure tourists here than the tourists spend on the island. Poor economics !

    (5)(0)
  4. Those of us in the industry have always marveled at how the SLTB would tell us how rosy things are when we could see things are bad. Time for change.

    But even so, I take issue with the minister's statement that “This represents gross mismanagement ...", which is a direct accusation against those who were managing the SLTB. He has only given us selected bits of information. Let us hear the whole story and then we'll decide whether in fact it was "mismanagement", or whether there were other contributing factors beyond the control of management.

    Dominic Fedee is a relatively young man with some potential. What he has to be careful not to do is imitate Guy Joseph's modus operandi. That will take him nowhere.

    (4)(0)
  5. .. Let's observe "better changes"... Action speaks louder than words!!Lord save sweet Helen from all those misleading politicians!

    (2)(0)
  6. All the landmark achievements at Jazz is what will drive the tourist board into so much debt!! Wink wink

    (2)(0)
  7. Let God be Praised!

    Bobol in every facet of the government. When will we learn to keep our hands off the cookie jar? It's a real shame reading all of this daily, from one office to another.

    Your word is a lamp unto my foot and a light unto my path.

    (5)(5)
    • Let God be praised!

      We spend EC$13,000,000 every year to make EC$ 2,000,000, I mean even a gore gore can tell you that is poor business math.

      (4)(0)
  8. FINALLY!!!!!!! SOME ACTUAL TRANSPARENCY, ST. LUCIA IS NOT EVEN IN THE TOP TEN MOST VISITED ISLANDS IN THE CARIBBEAN. THERE WAS A GENERAL INCREASE IN VISITORS THROUGHOUT THE CARIBBEAN OF APPROXIMATELY 20% LAST YEAR AND ST. LUCIA WAS ON THE BOTTOM END OF THE TIER. SO IT'S GOOD TO SEE SOME ACTUAL SELF EXAMINATION AND CHARTING THE WAY FORWARD. THIS WAS LONG OVERDUE. THE STATISTICS COULD HAVE CLEARLY BEEN SEEN ONLINE FROM THE CTO, LET US EDUCATE OURSELVES. IN 2016 THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR IGNORANCE.

    (11)(8)
    • Fact Checker Humbler

      You need to put down what you're smoking before making broad statements You need to look at trends and extenuating factors and not just one year. Minimal data only tells part of a story. If you really want to fact check you should go back 4 to 8yrs and look at where we came from and where we are now. Also since you're a fact checker you should look up the WTTC report on tourism on St. Lucia, that my help validate your fact checking exponentially.

      (14)(3)
      • Mr. Humbler, no need to start off on the wrong tone. my statements are after reviewing as far back as 8 years, the record arrivals we experienced were a slight percentage increase over previous years highest figures, so it's not minimal data. it's still a fact that St. Lucia is not on the top 10 visited islands in the Caribbean, also please remember that Sandals has three resorts on the island which realizes very good occupancies, so already a good chunk of our stay over arrivals are through the marketing done by Sandals. When was the last time you saw a SLTB ad on CNN, FOX, NBC, yet you see Sandals Ads plastered over these stations. this is just one example. and again there was a general increase in arrivals throughout the Caribbean, St. Lucia was and is on the lower end of the list.
        We can continue to say all is well, or we can do a proper an impartial analysis and take corrective measures.
        In closing when was the last time you heard the financial performance of the SLTB? all we would hear would be increased arrivals, in any business it's not how many people enter your store, it's how many people bought from your store and how much did is cost you to get these sales, it's about your expenses verses your revenue, and this is what has been withheld from the population for some time now. kind regards

        (3)(0)
      • That is ridiculous. 4-8 years conveniently? Remember where the world economy was 8 years ago? With this in mind I will tell you as fact that the UWP was able to increase tourist arrival by over 100% when compared to the previous SLP era 1997-2006. The highest in the OECS. When the SLP got into government in 2011 the world economy was stable. Price of fuel was decreasing steadily. They boasted of an increase when compared to previous years but what the fail to tell us was that we had the lowest increase in the OECS which was way below the Caribbean mean. The mean was 7% and we were only 2%

        (0)(0)

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