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Beache – We still have a long way to go as a Tourism destination

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Despite international nods for being a top tourism destination for 2012, the Chief Executive officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) says that this country has a long way to go.{{more}}

Glen Beache, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, January 3, said that the accolades from international media organizations (CNN, Travel and Leisure magazine and NBC’s Today Show) have the Authority starting the new year on a high note, but indicated that they would not be resting on their laurels.

“We still have a long way to go in terms of Tourism, but at least when we receive these sorts of awards, it makes you feel good that you’re doing something right, and that is going in the right direction.”

“We will continue to advertise and be creative in our public relations in terms of what we do.”

“I’m very happy. I’m very proud of my team in the Tourism Authority and the agencies overseas and the overseas offices. Vincentians on a whole have something to be proud of. I think it shows that we are heading in the right direction in terms of the tourism product and where we want to be.”

At the end of 2011, St. Vincent and the Grenadines was listed in third and fifth positions by the media outlets among the world’s top destinations for 2012.

The 32-island destination was ranked over other exotic cities and countries such as Uraguay, Orlando, Portugal, Abu Dhabi, Greece and China.

Beache, a former Minister of Tourism here, said that the fact that St. Vincent and the Grenadines was the only Caribbean country named on the lists, and that the media entities were independent of each other, speaks volumes for this country.

He also hinted disappointment that some persons had posted letters by visitors who claimed to have had bad experiences while visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the social network site Facebook, at a time when the country was being recognized.

He regarded this as skeptics letting ‘the politics get too far’.

“Now one of these letters is one too many; but in my opinion, at a time like this, if you want the best for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it makes no sense to me to post a letter like that.

“…. When we receive awards like this: you milk it; you feel very proud, especially considering we are going up against every other country in the world when it comes to the tourism product and you have some bragging rights within the Caribbean…. So putting letters like that does not do us any good. People are always gonna complain with a destination….”

The CEO indicated that the past year was a challenging one for the Authority, but their intention is to put more efforts in the promotions of the country’s tourism product.

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, which was commissioned in 2009, has the responsibility of marketing the multi island state as a tourism destination to the international market, as well as the development of tourism based products.(JJ)

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