PM questions UWP leader’s “sudden conversion” regarding cruise tourism

Hermisha Rolle, SNO Reporter

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Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony

Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony has pointed fingers at former tourism minister and leader of the United Workers Party (UWP) for what he says is his change of heart regarding the cruise sector.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony accused Allen Chastanet of changing from being against growth in cruise tourism to supporting the sub-sector. The prime minister based his accusation on what he said were various conversations he held with the former minister, who at the time had continuously complained about growth in the sector.

“In the period between 1997 and 2006 when the former minister of tourism Senator Allen Chastanet had my ear, one of the things he condemned ruthlessly without compunction was the cruise sector. Every time I had a meeting with him [he said] ‘Mr. Prime Minister , you must do something about the cruise sector… Mr. Prime Minister it is unfair, the competition between the cruise sector and the hotel sector is unfair and something has to be done about cruise tourism’,” Dr. Anthony said.

“I would plead and say you have to realise that hundreds of taxi drivers and vendors rely on the cruise sector for survival. Not to forget that you have endless persons with sites and attractions … ,” he added.

Dr. Anthony, in that regard, questioned Chastanet, asking:  “So what is this sudden conversion supporting the cruise sector when you have fought against it for life… and what kind of patriotism is this, that in this time of difficulty and hardship that you are by your public statements deliberately attempting to discourage cruise ships from coming to our harbour to assist our taxi drivers?”

The prime minister further called on the opposition to put history behind and “see whether we can get this country out of the rut”.

He said while there will be disagreements over policy thrust and direction, some common ground must be reached on matters that pertain to the country’s development.

Former Minister for Tourism and current Deputy Prime Minister, Philip J. Pierre, also came in defense of Dr. Anthony’s claims, stating that when he served as minister of tourism and Chastanet in the Hotel and Tourism Association, Chastanet had repeatedly spoken against incentives granted to the cruise sector.

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25 comments

  1. I have no faith in our political system. This is true of those who are representing it in the House. Independent for life until things change. If a policy is good say its good; if not then its not. Give credit where credit is due. Both parties have done good and bad. Once again move on for the sake of our country.

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  2. Tourism has created more beggars than it has employed. It is unreliable and unsustainable. We should be focusing on utilizing our natural resources in order to keep our people feed. The damage the reliance on tourism has done is irreversible. Remember there are pros and cons in every undertaking and therefore we should evaluate and compare both side to decipher which serves our best interest.

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  3. The biggest problem in Saint Lucia is that there's not enough independent thinkers and voters, somehow political affiliation is hereditary...so sad, you know. We must pray to our Patron Saint, Saint Lucy of Syracuse (who also happens to be the Patron Saint of the blind), to take the veil...and cataracts, from the eyes of Her people. We are a powerful people lead by a saint and we don't even know that.
    Rise up my people, take a stand, demand respect and all the goodies that was promised by these sleazy politicians. We are Saint Lucians!

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  4. Kenny will always try to blame others for his failure.

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    • The truth of the matter is this. Neither Kenny nor Chastanet really understands our tourism product.

      The deeper problem is that Chastanet knows something about airlines and studied marketing, but not tourism per se. Both areas of experience job and studies, do NOT specify tourism. Of course there is a relationship but it is peripheral. That is why Chastanet DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE INDUSTRY!

      Kenny says that he plans after the electorate gives him the necessary number of seats to govern. Therefore, his manifestos are mere window-dressing. He does NOT believe in them. They are at best, just voter fly-paper!

      When he got in after the dramatic failure of Compton to gain any kind of awareness of inevitable decline of bananas, as Patrick Joseph is just growing in realisation, so that Compton would transition this economy around from bananas, as if the economy were on a ten-cent piece, Kenny baulked.

      Kenny himself failed to see the inevitable. He gave the only saviour of the economy, tourism, then and still now, to a very wet-behind-the-ears junior minister. Risibly, that minister could only monotonously repeat one management buzz-word, 'stakeholders'. The depth of talent was very obvious!

      Once allowed in with few prejudices and biases and a low tax regime, the tourists will come. Promotions, when well directed, are just icing on the cake.

      Marketing promotions or incentives like the AA subsidy for carrying empty seats (the lifting of air, quite fittingly redefining the term 'air lift') to Saint Lucia boldly shows the lack of depth of the policy maker in terms of the economics. It is not just numbers. We have to look at the NET INCOME FLOW into and its retention IN SAINT LUCIA.

      That is why researchers like Albuquerque know the net benefit in tourism is in the growth of the TOURISM MULTIPLIER by every means necessary.

      Our next competitive growth area is in technology. But I am afraid that we do not have either the educational nor the alternative energy infrastructure in place to support that. It remains today just as a potential for growth.

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  5. You see now why I am forced to vote for the green party next election? I have had it with these two!

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  6. Kenny Anthony in 1997 chased the Taiwanese away. Between 2006 and 2011 he literally terrorized the Taiwanese. Now he is kissing their asses.

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  7. Get jobs for the people and please forget Allen chastanet. People did not vote you to argue with AC, they voted you in on the promise of better days. Still no $100m?

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  8. I guess Kenny heard one thing and Anthony is saying another......Cuz seriously Kenny is going back to a statement made between 1997 and 2006...so much has changed between then and now.

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  9. Tell The Whole Truth

    I love this phrase "Action Speaks Louder than Words" Mr. Chastanet made the statement as an owner of a Hotel. He was not even considered a Minister at that time. However, he became a Minster of Tourism and the records shows that the highest ever number of Cruise Ship and Cruise Ship passengers visited St Lucia under his reign as Minister of Tourism. This shows love for country and not just self. This is what is lacking in Dr Kenny Anthony. Post 2006 Taxi driver went on vacation for the first time and was able to go on a cruise with their wife. The same people Dr. Kenny claimed that Mr. Chastanet was not for, before he was a Minister, are the same people who saw a vast increase in their income when he became a Minister. Yes, he may have said something but when it came to doing the work he performed in that sector better than the said period 1997-2006. In the 2.5 years, in-spite of the mechanism and ideas Mr. Chastanet left in the tourism Ministry, Kenny and his boys cannot reach Mr. Chastanet's target and we will be getting less cruise ship passengers next year.

    LOVE FOR COUNTRY

    ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS but Dr. Kenny remembered Mr. Chastanet's WORDS about 17 years ago but forgot Mr. Chastanet's ACTIONS, which the whole country felt, only 2.5 years ago.

    Are we FOOLS Dr. Kenny Anthony?

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  10. looshan to the bone

    758patriot there is no obsession with Allen Chastanet please give us a break. Who the hell would be obsessed with the man. KDA is debunking his lies and his insincerity. All Chastanet cared about was ensuring that his coco palm hotel and others were filled to capacity. All of a sudden he is concerned about cruise sector please. That is why he will NEVER be Prime Minister of Saint Lucia. Only in his dreams foolish man. No amount of "by the market pestering" will help him. Too much too late

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    • JACK ASS LOOSHAN TO THE BONE TELL ME WHAT IS THE JOB OF A TOURISM MINISTER IF IS NOT TO FULL HOTELS.TELL ME,I WONDER IF YOU EVER WENT TO SCHOOL.NO BRAINS STEP WORKER THAT IS WHY KENNY AND CO WILL CONTINUE PISING IN YOU EYES AND CALL IT RAIN.

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    • Tell The Whole Truth

      So you are one of those being fooled by Dr. Kenny Anthony? That same Chastanet, in 5 years as Minister of Tourism had the highest ever number of that same Cruise ship and Cruise passengers visiting St Lucia. Who were the happiest? The taxi driver, the Vendors and the whole of Castries, which is now empty. You are just following a fool that is making you stupid. I feel sorry for you.

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  11. These days more politicians speak (both sides) i realize they don't know what they are doing because they still seem to follow the template of the 1950's. And the bickering is bloody disgusting , you''ll continue t pee in our eyes and call it rain .

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  12. Come on Mr. PM...Stick to governing and ignore the past....Did you say that you would encourage potential investors to stay away from St Lucia when the U W P was in office?????Did you tell King "bit the bullet and pay the civil servants??? I have no faith in none of you...

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  13. I see...distracting the people again?

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  14. Whats this Governments obsession with Allen Chastanet? He is not even an elected member yet still they blame him for everything. PM why don't you and your team focus on providing what we really care about. Jobs, Security, Opportunities, Proper Healthcare and a Good Education system.

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    • Okay, maybe I read a different article from you, because no where in the one i read was any blame cast. the PM and DPM is only highlighting the evolusion of Allen Chastanet as he lies and flip/flops like Mitt Romney to get his hands on the reigns of power. The opposition needs ideas, not just opposing for opposing sake. I remember when Labour was in opposition, they presented ideas, but the current UWP is angry (i mean i understand. Losing by 2 or 6 votes would make me angry too). If they're not careful, I can almost predict that they will lose two or the seats they currently hold, actually-bold prediction 3 seats will be lost.

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      • Tell The Whole Truth

        Ben! In 5 years as Minister of Tourism Chastanet brought the highest number of Cruise ship and Cruise passengers in St Lucia in a year than Kenny and the SLP ever did. So what is the flip flopping about? Chastanet's ACTION spoke louder than his WORDS and we were all happy until SLP got into power.

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        • you don't want to debate me. Because Over the last two years Saint Lucia has has more tourist arrivals than at any time in history. So enough with repeating the same thing under different names. Then again, how much did Castanet cost the country in his so called marketing (no sustainability). You see I don't go by hear say, I go on facts. Saint Lucia's tourism arrivals 2007-289,000; 2008-298,000; 2009-279,000; and 2010-308,000. From 2012-312,801; and 2013-305,000. Now tell me how on earth did Chastanet bring more visitors when base on figures from two years the current administration's figures are damn inpressive although few dollars have been spent.

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          • You are a mad fella. These guys are fooling you. Did you feel the effect of the increase in tourism as they said? That is not true and I know that. It was a lie. I work in the sector. Virgin Atlantic was coming 3 time a week with over 400 passengers, now it is coming 6 time a week with sometime less than 100 passengers (average 175). The eagle flight is not coming anymore. Less Cruise Ship. What happens with these guys (the SLP) is that their first year there was a vast decrease in tourism. Because of that vast decrease the following year there was vast increase from the very POOR previous year and it appeared to the biggest increase. The same with the banana industry. When the Minister stated that there was vast increase in banana exportation compared with the same time the previous very year, I personally asked a Wibdeco personnel who told me that he does not know where these guys getting their information.

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      • The evolution was when he became Minister of Tourism and he brought in the highest Cruise ship passengers in a year than the DPM did in 10 years and the SLP during 12.5 years.

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        • see my comment above because you are the same person. The thing about the 21st century is, we have information technology. Oh and by the way the DPM was not minister of tourism for 10 years. and the SLP was not in power for 12.5 years. And you know what, educating you is worthless because you will turn and say the same thing even when facts are presented. lot kotay'

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          • That is your argument? 2 terms and and 2.5 years is about 12.5 years if I remembered correctly. Educate me. Who was the Min. of Tourism between 1997 and 2006?

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  15. Hear say, you can say a lie in the house and get away with it. i say cheap points kda

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