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Watch your comments, warns Beache

Watch your comments, warns Beache

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Minister of Tourism Glen Beache is sending out a warning to persons who talk negatively about St. Vincent and the Grenadines – especially to foreigners.{{more}}

“You don’t wash your dirty laundry out there. This (tourism) is the number one foreign exchange earner… if you want to kill it, you have nobody to blame but yourself.”

The Minister, just back from two and a half weeks of promoting St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a tourist destination, was speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, September 28, when he informed the media that negative comments were made to relatives of his, who had visited the island during the summer, and who had taken a taxi to their hotel.

“…The cab driver had no idea who these people were and started to speak about Venezuela and Cuba, and the fact that we are selling our souls to Venezuela and Cuba for this airport and that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was slowly but surely becoming communist, because we are getting assistance from these countries.”

“I don’t know if people understand the sort of damage they are doing to the destination when they talk that sort of rubbish, and it hurts me because it is nowhere close to the truth.”

“I know who the taxi driver is; he’s been in trouble with the law before.”

The Minister indicated that the damage done by comments he claimed were made by the taxi driver cannot be easily corrected by advertising and public relations exercises.

He urged persons to be aware of this.

The Minister also lamented that he had not been able to put legislation in place, which would regulate the persons who were allowed to be taxi drivers, and called for more professionalism in the taxi driving industry.

“How can you make comments like that? If you are a taxi driver and you are taking visitors around, speak about the lovely sites and the projects that we are doing, which is also a big selling point with the airlines.”

Beache said that none of the airlines that he and the Ministry’s international overseas consultants and public relations representatives had spoken to at various trade shows during the trip were concerned about how the international airport, which is being constructed at Argyle, is being financed.

He stated that the airlines executives were actually looking forward to making St. Vincent and the Grenadines a new destination that they can get into.

Suggesting that the comments were politically motivated, Beache said that such statements could cause serious damage to the name of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“We all have our political beliefs. We have our parties we support, but no matter what… if we as Vincentians are not serious… if we keeping shooting ourselves in the foot, then you have nobody to blame but themselves.”

“There are a few who try to kill it for the many, and they take their politics too far,” Beache added.(JJ)