St Lucia: Deputy PM Hilaire shares update on topics discussed in Cabinet

Hilaire stated that on Monday, the Cabinet has discussed the new COVID-19 protocols in light of the Omicron variant and increasing relaxation of protocols around the world. The new protocols are welcomed by citizens and travellers alike.

St Lucia: Deputy PM Hilaire shares update on topics discussed in Cabinet
St Lucia: Deputy PM Hilaire shares update on topics discussed in Cabinet

St Lucia: Member of Parliament for Castries South and Member of Cabinet and Deputy Prime Minister of St Lucia Ernest Hilaire discussed the sittings of the Cabinet and gave information about the various topics of discussions. 

Hilaire stated that on Monday, the Cabinet has discussed the new COVID-19 protocols in light of the Omicron variant and increasing relaxation of protocols around the world. The new protocols are welcomed by citizens and travellers alike. However, people must continue to follow the basic protocols- wear your mask, keep 3 feet apart and sanitize or wash your hands. Remember, vaccination is still our best hope to return to a normal life.

For Tuesday, he stated, “My Ministry hosted the Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC). The TAC brings together stakeholders in the industry to discuss issues in the industry and share ideas on the way forward. Our main focus was on Community Tourism as the BIll establishing the programme will be debated in Parliament on Tuesday, March 8th. I invite everyone to listen to the next Sitting of Parliament”.

While outlining another project of the government, he noted that although Wednesday was constituency day, he had the pleasure of handing over a baggage carousel to SLASPA at the Ferry Terminal. This addition will enhance the comfort and convenience of travellers who are arriving on the ferry. It is funded under the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Programme – a World Bank project designed to improve our competitiveness in tourism. 

“Wednesday, I hosted a Town Hall meeting in Barre St Joseph to discuss the long-awaited and anticipated road rehabilitation. I can now boast that after so many years, finally, the residents will have their sufferings addressed. It is my first major project as Parliamentary Representative, and I am proud to be able to deliver. I was joined by Senior Minister Hon. Stephenson King. Prime Minister Pierre could not be present. I am thankful to both colleagues for their determination to see this project commence.”, underscored the cabinet minister. 

Further Thursday started with an early morning video shoot at Gros Islet Beach to announce our new protocols and reach out to the travel market, inviting visitors to Saint Lucia. We also held a meeting with SLASPA and taxi associations that use SLASPA premises. It is quite useful as the agency, which acts as the custodian of the tourism industry, to assist in resolving issues when they arise. The next meeting on our agenda is to meet with local handlers of cruise ships to address challenges faced by other stakeholders, outlined Ernest Hillaire. 

She stressed that Thursday afternoon was a significant meeting with Cabot to discuss the implementation of the project from the perspective of approved tourism development. The discussions will continue to ensure that Cabot becomes a responsible and valuable addition to our tourism industry and national development. Thursday night, Minister Hippolyte and I hosted a thank-you reception for the performers who so well represented St Lucia at EXPO Dubai. They were magnificent ambassadors.

He added that Friday was spent dealing with tourism marketing as the CEO, Chairman and I spent a few hours discussing strategic actions and approaches to ensure that St Lucia continues to be competitive and quickly returns to normalcy.

“On Saturday, we held a very successful working session with some stakeholders to finalize plans for hosting Carnival in July. We are set to step up our marketing and preparations. Next discussions will be with stakeholders involved in calypso, soca and panorama”, Ernest added. 

He added that this week was truly about Barre St.Joseph. I am advised that Road works start on Monday. It feels like one of my burdens has been lifted.