(CMC) — St Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has declared that although the Caribbean is the most tourism dependent region in the world, it is only scratching the surface.
Chastanet, a former tourism minister was addressing the opening of the sixth annual St Lucia showcase-North America, here on Wednesday.
“The amazing number is, if you take a poll and you ask people to close their eyes and think of where they would want to go on vacation, ninety per cent of the people say the Caribbean. But only one-and-a-half per cent of them ever end up in the Caribbean.”
“So the question becomes, how do we bridge that gap in terms of what people want and what we are actually delivering?” said Chastanet.
The event that ends on Thursday is being attended by tour operators and destination marketing companies who interact with companies and attractions here, in an effort to better market the island.
According to the prime minister, St Lucia has decided to start to improve its delivery at the airport.
He then announced that he received word late Tuesday that a loan for a new airport for St Lucia has been approved.
“So it means that we are going to be commencing construction of the new airport this fall and the new airport is going to be able to have the capacity of one-and-a-half million passengers.”
He explained that new systems will be in operation at the new facility.
“We are not bringing old habits to the airport,” the prime minister said.
“So facial recognition technology, is [were] you don’t have to fill out your immigration cards.”
Chastanet said that systems will also be in place to have people’s bags delivered to their hotel while ‘on property’ satellite offices will be created enabling people to check in their bags at their hotels.
“We are driven to be successful in this industry because of the benefits tourism generates,” he added.