THE old saying that when one door closes another opens seems to have worked in favour of the current administration in terms of the Virgin Atlantic affair based on the decision by BA to fill that void. This having been said, we must recognise the decisive and prudent decision of Government in moving swiftly in placing the minds of our hospitality partners at ease of any short fall in their UK business.
Government, however, will keep an open mind in respect to Virgin Atlantic to ensure that all options are explored as a twenty-one-year relationship carries its fair share of goodwill which cannot be erased. St Lucia remains a well sought-after destination by the UK market, but more importantly, with all the exciting projects on stream including a top of the line International Horse Racing Industry, this is the moment when visitor arrivals are actually on the increase. This view has already been shared by our US partners who have increased flights both in number and by additional gate ways.
The possibility of a direct service from Paris is presently being explored based on the increased numbers using Martinique as a hub for St Lucia and the Grenadines. The expansion of Royalton Hotel in St Lucia permits our tourism sector to benefit from that company’s rental fleet of some 25-30 jets at their service. Once again let us all recognise the efforts of our Tourism Minister and his team in remaining pro-active in an ever-competitive industry.