December 30, 2011
Glimmers of hope for 2012

Fri, Dec 30. 2011

As the end of the year approaches, many of us will be involved in some measure of self reflection, after which, we may resolve on some level, to do better in the New Year.{{more}}

It is a good thing to look inward, whether as individuals, families, companies, communities or as a nation, for it is only in doing so that patterns of behaviour in our lives are revealed. Self examination also presents the opportunity to figure out what has been working, what has not, and hopefully how better can be done.

2011 has been a difficult one for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, with the effects of the global economic recession being felt in every pocket. The ugly spectre of violence in general, and against our females in particular, raised its ugly head, and earlier this year, in the aftermath of the general elections, there was some unrest. In general, we have not always been as kind to each other as we should.

As we move into 2012, would it be unreasonable to summon a small amount of optimism about our economic prospects and the way we live with each other going forward?

There are slight glimmers of hope. Just this week, we received the good news that two very reputable international media houses have given us the thumbs up as a tourist destination for 2012. This morale lifter and boost to our tourism industry could not come at a better time. Just a few weeks earlier, we suffered the shame, justifiably or not, of being labelled in the international media as being a terrible place for women to live. Earlier this year, one of the major cruise lines removed St. Vincent from its itinerary. While no official reason was given, tourism stake holders say cruise visitors complained about Kingstown being dirty and unfriendly and about the state of the roads.

We cannot squander the golden opportunity of this top notch recommendation and must be ready to give the visitors a good experience when they do come. All of us have a role to play, in this industry which has long surpassed agriculture as our main foreign exchange earner. The top travel experts who recommended St. Vincent and the Grenadines have their reputations at stake and will not easily recommend us again if the persons who do come, are disappointed.

It is important to note that the recommendation from Travel and Leisure ties the accessibility of SVG to the opening of the international airport at Argyle. The construction of the airport has called for tremendous sacrifice from us all, but we should support the project, as in the medium to long term, we all stand to benefit, not just in relation to tourism, but in all aspects of trade and economic activity.

The police have reported a generally quiet Christmas season with few incidents of criminality. What is it about this season that causes us to live more peacefully with each other? Oh that we could continue like this into the New Year! Loving homes result in a more peaceful community, nation and world.

A sincere thank you to everyone

The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Searchlight express our sincere gratitude to our advertisers, readers, vendors, contributors and newsmakers for your support over the past year. It has not been an easy time for us, as we have been called on to do more with less.

Despite the competitive news environment in which we operate, and a more discerning and demanding public, with more news options open to them, we have managed to keep our head above water and even grow, in terms of our newspaper readership over the past year

We do not take your support lightly, as we know the decision to spend up to $3.00 a week on Searchlight, must be balanced against other household needs. We pledge to continue to work hard to maintain your confidence as a source of news you can trust.

A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone.