“We cannot rest on our laurels,” asserted Chastanet. Even though Saint Lucia’s tourism industry has demonstrated tremendous resilience in tough times, “as a nation we must move to another level of accountability and growth.”
Chastanet said Saint Lucian hoteliers and industry captains must continue to work hard and with passion: “We have a nation depending on us, and as our government works tirelessly to improve infrastructure, like building roads, improving airports and seaports, and maintaining airlift from major markets, we need all hands on deck to create new economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for all Saint Lucians.”
“Our Creole culture, warm and friendly people, sumptuous cuisine and a beautiful natural environment, including the Pitons mountains, are natural blessings — but we must continue to refresh and revive the visitor experience,” he declared.
Chastanet also spoke of the new village tourism concept designed to accentuate local culture, provide jobs and benefit communities such as Dennery, Soufrière, Gros Islet and Anse La Raye.
“We must improve the village life of our island because it is the people of Saint Lucia who make this nation an incredible place to visit — and to live.”
World Tourism Day 2011 is being held under the theme Tourism — Linking Cultures.
This year’s theme is a celebration of tourism’s role in linking together the cultures of the world through travel. With millions of people travelling the world each year, never before have so many people been to so many places, nor been so exposed to other cultures.
This interaction between individuals and communities, and their diverse cultures, leads to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding – the building blocks for a more peaceful world.
“World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tourism to global well-being,” noted United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
“As we travel, let us engage with other cultures and celebrate human diversity. On this observance, let us recognize tourism as a force for a more tolerant, open and united world,” he added.