Saint Lucia’s Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee’s 2017 Work Plan


hiac-2017-work-plan_printPRESS RELEASE – Following a productive 2016 work year the Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee (HiAC), recently held a general membership meeting to discuss its 2017 work plan.

The meeting was chaired by chairman Joseph (Joe) Du Bois. Other members in attendance were SLHTA CEO Noorani Azzez, Carl Hunter of Anse Chastanet/Jade Mountain, Claudius Quashie, Deputy Labour Commissioner, John Mathurin of Serenity Vacations & Tours, Colvis Samuels of the Ministry of Education and Kirk Elliott of Kirk Elliott Photography.

As Saint Lucia continues to grow its tourism product HiAC has identified an urgent need for industry wide manpower strengthening.

The recent public discussion on the workforce void created by Royalton’s entry into the marketplace underscores the emergency we face. Add to this the fact that not only are more resorts coming on stream, but also that government seeks to grow cruise arrivals by some 20% of its current capacity.

For Saint Lucia to experience maximum economic yield the Royalton experience must be our wake up call at multiple levels:

At the employee level both the employed as well as those seeking employment must consciously and actively seek out targeted education that leads to self improvement as a catalyst for career advancement.

And at the private sector/employer level organizations must employ scientific skills assessment principles to inform their current and future manpower needs.

HiAC continues to draw attention to the dire need for improved technical and vocational skills training alongside an even more pressing need for soft skills training. The committee strongly advocates that Saint Lucia develops a National Training Agenda in these critical areas. This agenda can be seen as a necessary first step towards attracting funding that would be used to address this deficiency at the soonest.

Urgent Need For An Environment That Is Conducive To Local Entrepreneurship

As Saint Lucia seeks to stimulate economic growth through the engine of tourism it is important that we develop a work ethic that is hinged on pride in service and a recognition that service does not equate to servitude. As part of the plan for economic growth attention must be paid

to creating an environment that is conducive to local entrepreneurship. The cruise tourism sector holds tremendous potential in this area and there is great benefit to be gained from an approach that seeks to define a per passenger monetary yield projection from the anticipated increased traffic.

Romanus Lansiquot, a past minister of tourism, coined the slogan “Let’s Be The Best” and this is an opportune time for us to revisit that gem of an idea and then start living it.

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  1. When will such bodies focus on what really matters IN SAINT LUCIA NOW?

    Why are locals always so dense, that they cannot peel off the veneer of intelligent thinking, to pay closer attention to the welfare of the workforce working in the hospitality industry today?

    It never ceases to amaze me why such meetings, both local and regional, lack such a strategic focus. Where is the concern for the long-term wellbeing of the workers? Are we only interested in providing minimal employment, because most workers have no, or little other choice?

    They do such work as they can find, out of necessity, in the face of high national unemployment. It is mainly out of necessity. Most often, the alternative is criminal activity of some sort.

    The vast majority of workers in Saint Lucia, find themselves in a job situation today, like the ex-slaves in the post-emancipation period. And this bears repetition.

    You are on your own. We have work for you, but only, or mainly in the the hospitality industry's "neo-plantation economy."

    In what direction is the next budget going take the country in this regard? Are there any remedies there for this dysfunctional socio-economic exploitation? Will a legislated minimum wage partially solve this problem?

    The evidence of this dysfunction is continually being ignored by the political directorate---on both sides of the political divide. Watch the wasted lives in our crime and suicide statistics.

    This problem and its ripple effects are of greater national import---in a long way---than the on-going manipulative political theatre of filling a deputy speaker's position.

  2. Too much emphasis on passes at the CXC level and not passes that make those entering the workforce job ready. Yes to more scientific education with soft skills. Now. How is that going to be implemented. Zandoli seems to be making the right steps.


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