Every Vincentian needs to become a tourism ambassador – McKie
One in every 10 jobs in the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) being no exception, is related to tourism and one in every five foreign exchange dollars is also related directly to tourism.
“So, the nation expects us to continue to increase arrival numbers, to continue to grow our capacity and continue to improve and enhance the services and the products that we deliver in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Minister of Tourism and Culture Cecil McKie.
McKie was speaking at the 2018 SVG Tourism Awards which was held at the Grenadine House recently to recognize the top tourism stakeholders in the country.
McKie stressed that locally, tourism is the number one productive sector while our region is one of the most dependent regions on tourism.
“In the context of St Vincent and the Grenadines, not only is tourism important, we do not stand alone, so you will hear from time to time the word agro tourism and that is becoming more and more common as the tourism sector works closely with the agricultural sector to ensure that we develop the tourism product,” the Minister stated.
He also noted that sports tourism and cultural tourism are also very important and as a result, the Ministry is engaging sports people and associations throughout the country to help develop the tourism product.
McKie also said that the tourism sector leads in terms of direct foreign investments.
“The profile of St Vincent and the Grenadines continues to be improved and enhanced at the United Nations, the Security Council and other world bodies and in fact we have taken our place in the region as a leading destination where tourism is concerned,” boasted McKie who also stated that at the various tourism conferences and seminars, the name SVG is being called more and more in terms of the services and products we offer.
“Together we must achieve…tourism is everyone’s business, live it, love it embrace it,” begged McKie while adding that all stakeholders must help to engage Vincentians at home and abroad to ensure they become ambassadors.
“Ensure that every visitor has an experience that will allow them to become ambassadors. That is a challenge to all stakeholders.
“We must ensure that we continue to enhance the standards across the sectors because if we do not establish and enhance these standards persons will become disappointed and not become ambassadors,” McKie opined.
He also asked stakeholders to try their best to offer attractive, exciting and satisfying packages as it is our responsibility to ensure that the 14 establish tourism sites are improved and enhanced on an ongoing basis.
“Our culinary offerings must stand out and be unique also,” said the Tourism Minister while also acknowledging that we have festivals all year round that attracts visitors but we must ensure that these events are enhanced as we continue to offer them.
“We have a lot to offer and be proud of, but we must seize the moment and capitalize on the opportunities that are being presented so that we will continue to grow SVG as competitive and attractive and be on persons must visits lists,” McKie commented.