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New Tourism Minister Visits Canaries Project

img: Kenny and Fedee at the Plantation (Photo Boka Group

SAINT LUCIA’S new Minister for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, has hit the ground running by visiting Boka Group’s property at Belvedere Plantation, near Canaries, the location of the Island’s first Citizenship by Investment Approved Hotel development as, his first task since assuming office.

The Minister accompanied Boka CEO, John Kennedy, to the site, which also sits in his new Parliamentary Constituency of Anse la Raye and Canaries.

Kennedy said, “I am pleased that the Minister and I have had occasion to discuss this project on-site and in some detail and am encouraged by the priority that he has pledged to help us deliver new room capacity for the Island. We have a common goal of increasing the number of five star rooms offered to the international market and at the same time creating new local employment.

img: Kenny and Fedee at the Plantation (Photo Boka Group
Kenny and Fedee at the Plantation (Photo Boka Group

“Belvedere Plantation will preserve the historic Mahaut Estate, with only 9 percent low-density build, and 91 percent of the property remaining as an active plantation, providing up to 800 jobs for our neighbouring communities in Belvedere, Bouton, Canaries and beyond”. Kenny said that as the first approved CIP Hotel project in Saint Lucia Boka wanted to look at every opportunity to make Belvedere Plantation as attractive as possible to discerning global travellers.

He said: “During my meeting with Prime Minister Chastanet, last week, I conveyed our commitment to bringing new room capacity into the market as soon as possible and to working together for this common objective, in the interests of both our investors as well as the local work-force”.

Tourism Minister Fedee was quoted in a Boka Group press release as saying: ”Our government has already pledged its support for this project. We need more rooms and this development is going to be one of our prime products in Saint Lucia. This site gives the developer a tremendous opportunity to create one of the best tourist concepts in the world and this will be a show-case development of Saint Lucian diversity.”

2 Comments

  1. These people need to be watched really closely. Notice that these meetings are quickly happening right after the elections and soon they will be rushing to start developing the land. The talk right now is all about a luxury hotel that is going to help and employ the local people of the Canaries area but this project needs to be watched so that it doesn’t become another Freedom Bay mess, where the developers acquired the land, made lots of promises to the politicians and local people but than never delivered. The Boka Group are certainly not philanthropists; they are investor/speculators. They purchased this land cheaply and have made a lot of promises. They are running a big PR campaign trying to build up their profile on the island. This is the exact same thing that the developers of the Freedom Bay project did.

    The worry here is that these guys don’t really have the funds to develop the land into an actual hotel. They will then talk about building luxury homes or timeshare properties, trying to get the actual future purchasers of the properties on paper to fund their development. This is what is known as a “pyramid scheme.” I’m concerned because this has happened before and could happen again right under the noses of the politicians, like Mr. Fedee.

    Right now I’d be looking very closely at the practical issues. For example, it would take millions and millions to put in the roads needed and build an actual hotel. This hasn’t been done n St. Lucia in a long time. The bigger hotel companies don’t want to spend this kind of money and take a big risk in an area such as a Canaries that is very depressed. Think about it, who would want to purchase a $5 million+ home n this area? Do you really think it will become a playground for the 1 percenters who hail from the UK or US? I don’t really think so.

    Before the government gives developers like this the green light to start their projects they should make sure that they actually have the assets to fully develop the project and that they are not just speculating , in other words taking a huge risk. This should be a yellow light project–proceed with the utmost level of caution!

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