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Too many persons ‘fighting’ lifting of standard in tourism – Beache

Too many persons ‘fighting’ lifting of standard in tourism – Beache

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According to the chief executive officer of the SVG Tourism Authority (SVGTA), too many persons who operate within the tourism sector are “fighting” the lifting of standards which have been put in place to help lift the overall tourism product that SVG has to offer.

Speaking at a press conference last Tuesday, Glen Beache was adamant that the SVGTA will be getting tough on those who do not conform to the minimum required standards{{more}} (which were passed in Parliament two years ago) by issuing fines – especially for non-registration with the authority.

“We have too many people fighting it and not understanding that this is a realization; that this has been passed by Parliament. We have been lenient for the first two years… we’ve just sent out letters saying that if certain people do not register by a certain time, we will start to charge them the fees for not registering. It’s as simple as that… We are not going to be playing around anymore with it,” insisted Beache.

The SVGTA CEO said that the enforcement of minimum standards not only applies to accommodation, but also to taxi drivers.

“A lot of them have registered; some of them have not. We will be speaking to the police that those who have not registered be removed from all of the taxi stands throughout St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Additionally, Beache pointed out that these standards also apply to tour guides and operators.

He relayed a recent incident where a local tour operator was not allowed to enter the cruise ship terminal to take cruise ship passengers on a tour of the island because it had not met with the minimum standards.

Beache explained that that particular operator has been allowed on a previous occasion, but issued a warning – yet claimed, on this most recent occasion, that he had not been aware of the need for compliance.

Issuing a stern warning, he said: “I want to make this clear… threatening me that you’re going to the media because you haven’t followed the rules and regulations is not going to make it easier on you…

“The laws are there to be followed… Tourism is about every individual in St Vincent and the Grenadines making sure that we push the country… and we make sure it’s seen in as positive [a] light as we possibly can.

“The Tourism Authority can only do so much.”

Beache also said that the SVGTA is looking at introducing a rating system within the tourism sector, but is so far still debating which particular type of rating system it should employ.

“We have to put these things in place, and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes that some of our neighbours have made – and make sure we get it right from the start.” (JSV)

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