On Monday, 17th November, 2017 the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Culture held the official launching ceremony for the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project.
The Project Coordinator, Mrs. Shirla Francis, gave an overview of the project, she stated that the project's main purpose is to enhance the competitiveness of the tourism sector and increase tourism revenue.
The project is financed by credit from the World Bank in the amount of EC$3.4 million dollars. It involves three (3) participating countries - Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and has the following main focuses:
- To facilitate movement of tourists within the participating countries using ferries.
- To offer a more diverse range of quality tourism products by supporting anchor investment to attract more spending from tourists visiting the participating countries.
- To develop capacity for tourism development promotion, and to attract a greater number of high spending tourists.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the first country to launch this project, which is expected to last for five (5) year. Grenada's and Saint Lucia's will run for six (6) years.
The project objectives would be achieved through four (4) components:
- Component 1 - Facilitation of the Movement of People
Objective – Facilitate the movement of tourists within the participating countries using ferries
Estimated cost EC$2.7 million dollars
- Component 2 – Pilot Tourism Infrastructure investments
Objective – Improve selected tourism sites
Estimated cost EC$6.7 million dollars
- Component 3 – Market development and Promotion, Capacity-building
Objective – Strengthen implementation capacity for Regional Tourism Market Development
Estimated cost – EC$2.5 million dollars
- Component 4 – Project Implementation Support
Estimated cost – EC$1.5 million dollars
The project will also see the rehabilitation and upgrade of Fort Charlotte.
Addresses were also heard from the World Bank Group Team Leader and Economist, Mr. John Anderson, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' Minister of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology, Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, and Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture, Hon. Cecil McKie.
The opening ceremony was attended by the World Bank Team for the project, project counterparts from Saint Lucia, members of the steering committee, Chief Executive Officer of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' Tourism Authority, members of staff of the Ministries of Tourism, Sports and Culture, and Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology and members of the media.
Musical renditions were done by Messrs Rodney Small and Darron Andrews.
SOURCE: Information Technology Services Division