St. LUCIA. Tourism development legislation aims to ensure equitable access

St. LUCIA. Tourism development legislation aims to ensure equitable access

St. LUCIA: For decades, tourism has been Saint Lucia’s main economic sector. New legislation is being drafted, but aims to eliminate perceived shortcomings in the industry.

The Minister of Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture and Information, Dr Ernest Hilaire, wants more transparency and accessibility for future investors.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the investment climate, so we hope this will make it very clear who gets what, where and how. The investment framework is very clear for the development industry. Beyond the accommodation sector, the law will try to cover all sectors, so that a person working in the field of tourist transport, for example, will know exactly what is required, likewise anyone entering will know precisely what is required. This will reduce uncertainty and increase fairness. The more transparency we introduce, the better it will be for everyone.

The legislative framework also hopes to instill entrepreneurship among citizens by providing various incentives.

“We need a tourism industry that more nationals can participate in and take ownership of. It makes no sense that the main economic engine of Saint Lucia is not controlled by Saint Lucians. We need to ensure that our people have some level of control over what supports our livelihoods. There is room for others, but nationals of Saint Lucia should also have a place, and the law will seek to create that space for nationals. We want the tourism industry to benefit everyone.

Stakeholder meetings will continue during the drafting phase of the legislation before it is presented to parliament.

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