I have been following the discussions regarding the DSH deal with China, that will provide a horse racing track in Vieux Fort. From a tourism point of view I have some questions and observations.
What marketing studies have been done that suggest such an intrusive and costly endeavour will be valuable to St. Lucia? Attendance?Profitability?Local employment potential? Tax revenue?
Why would tourists attend a horse racing venue here, when they generally all have such activities in their own countries? (See USA, UK, South America, Canada)?
Are St Lucians likely to attend (and pay to see) this activity when Cricket and other “popular” sports events have historically dropped in local attendance/ interest?
Would Chinese tourists be interested in spending their money to travel here and spend their dollars supporting this “adventure”in attendance and investment after it is built?
We notice there are many “failed” and abandoned projects that stand as reminders to past governments’ recklessness and poor planning:
The “Greg Norman” inspired development at Praslin Bay (hundreds of millions in waste)
The abandoned shopping centre on the John Compton highway south of Rodney Bay
(millions in wasted building materials)
Other smaller, less dramatic concrete dinosaurs also stand as evidence of waste and poor management.
Those of us who visit here year after year do so to enjoy what we DON’T have at home.
Warm oceans and sand…fresh produce…rain forests…beautiful people and places that are incomparable elsewhere… Protect your country…don’t give away your heritage for pennies.
— Marion Bartlett, Canada