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Some people need to read more in relation to tourism – Beache

Some people need to read more in relation to tourism – Beache

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Chief Executive officer (CEO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Glen Beache is of the view that at least three persons who have criticized him in the past need to read more when it comes to tourism.

In a press conference on Wednesday,{{more}} Beache said that local historian Dr Adrian Fraser, Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace and columnist and journalist Chester Connell will all do well carrying out a little more research before commenting on issues relating to tourism, especially airline travel.

“I don’t know who writes the Leader of the Opposition’s speeches…Dr Adrian Fraser I respect him with regard to the history of St Vincent and the Grenadines, but reading his article on the airlines and so on, he needs to do some more reading on that and I can say the same thing about the Leader of the Opposition. Mr Connell’s knowledge of tourism and what it involves and the difference between mass tourism and regular tourism…needs to do some reading on that too, because I think when people read that article they can pick the sense from the nonsense easily,” said Beache.

The CEO said that Fraser recently wrote an article quoting some things he (Beache) said, while Eustace spent 45 minutes in Parliament discussing him (Beache). He said that Eustace was making mention of, among other things, he (Beache) mentioning a completion date of the Argyle international airport.

Beache said that while he had mentioned dates for the completion of the airport, the dates were dates that he had been given.

Beache added that what people must understand is that there are a lot of intricacies involved with negotiating with airlines to get them to visit a new destination.

He said that while he continues to speak with airlines from the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada, the finish date of the airport is a problem, as airlines will not commit until the airport is operational and even so, the airlines are making requests that must be addressed.

He added that the uncertain completion date of the airport, which has now been placed at October 2015, can be “embarrassing” when it comes to negotiations.

Beache explained that airlines make their itinerary two and three years in advance and that is creating a problem, while he also noted that British Airways has sent two teams here over the past three years to see what is going on with the airport.

“The negotiations with airlines was an eye-opener for me,” said Beache, who added that despite his public relations and tourism background, he has had to seek the help of aviation consultants; the Boyd Group International.

“We are not experts; we continue, to learn,” said Beache, who stressed that persons like Eustace and Fraser need to understand that airlines do not owe us anything and will only come to St Vincent if they are making a profit.

“We have no records of international travel, so it is a risk coming here and they are not going to take the risk; we will have to subsidize them,” said Beache, adding that negotiations include things like how a country will subsidize the airline, whether it is providing free hotel for airline staff, the waiving of runway and apron fees, or the buying of leftoverseats.

“We are negotiating and continue to speak…no airline is going to send a plane without the airport being finished,” said Beache.

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