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Spend this vacation in SVG

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The Ministry of Tourism and the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) are suggesting that during the month of November, Vincentians patronize tourism establishments here at home.

They are suggesting that rather than travelling abroad, we embrace ‘staycations,’ as domestic vacations are called, as well as other forms of domestic tourism. This type of vacation may not appeal to many, especially those accustomed to spending vacations visiting with relatives overseas and shopping up a storm. However, for the travel weary and those wanting a change of scene without having to spend excessively, tourism officials are recommending a holiday on one of the 32 islands or cays that make up St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

For a country like SVG, a relative latecomer to the tourism business, staycations provide multiple benefits to our county beyond the boost to the economy. Believe it or not, there are many mainland Vincentians who have not travelled to areas on the mainland outside their home community and Kingstown, or to some of the Grenadine islands, and similarly, there are some residents of the Grenadines who are not familiar with many areas of the mainland or the other Grenadine islands.

Other than the obvious value in Vincentians learning more about their country, having the opportunity to experience our tourism product and access our tourism services from the perspective of a visitor will help in the development of the sector. If we are honest, we will admit that the majority of Vincentians are simply not tourism conscious, nor are we sufficiently aware that success in this sector depends on our attitude towards visitors. The more Vincentians who experience our tourism services, the more likely that they, when called upon to be a service provider, would do so in a pleasant and welcoming manner.

Domestic tourists are also in a much better position than most other tourists to ensure that feedback about the service they received reaches the ears of those who need to hear it.

During our ‘staycation,’ we will look at our historic and natural sites with new eyes, and hopefully this new awareness will make us become more proactive about their protection and preservation. We also should come out of the exercise understanding the urgency about developing the range of products and services we offer, so as to maximize returns.

As the slogan for Tourism Month says: “Tourism is Everyone’s Business, Live it, Love it, Embrace it,”

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