The tourism sector will be reopening soon as the ministries of Health and Tourism are working very hard to ensure its safe reopening. Minister for Tourism, Honorable Dominic Fedee stated that the sector is off to a great start with 81% of the US Market Already Recovered. He explained that this is indicated by a number of factors including local accommodation properties reporting high level of occupancy, almost ten thousand industry employees returning to work, the reopening of over two hundred villas having received the COVID-19 license to operate and some 120 more accommodation properties are being allowed to operate with only vaccinated guests. Honorable Fedee also disclosed that talks with cruise officials have been positive and continue.
“We also are anticipating the return of the first cruise line to St Lucia. Those discussions are still ongoing now. We want to make sure we do everything to ensure that this is done in a safe way and we are going to do it step by step to make sure that the amount of cruise passengers that are allowed on island are manageable. This is a very collective position that we have with the cruise lines who themselves are looking at making sure that we have numbers that are manageable. So we are very close to announcing with more specificity the date by which we will have the first cruise call into St Lucia. This will mean a significant amount of good news for vendors and taxi drivers and duty free employees, companies and more numbers for sites and attraction and the whole list of spin-offs in the tourism ancillary sector is going to benefit significantly from this.”
The ministry of tourism is presently working with approximately 200 accommodation properties to become COVID-19 certified. Approximately 1500 taxi drivers have been certified with the intention of getting an additional 4000 tourism transportation providers certified including ‘H’ plate holders. Car rental businesses are allowed to operate providing services to only fully vaccinated individuals.