Front Page
December 23, 2005

In his maiden interview with the media as Minister of Tourism, Glen Beache, on Wednesday, December 21, took pleasure in announcing the historic inaugural visit of Queen Mary 2 – the largest cruise ship in the world – to St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

The ship, dubbed the greatest ocean liner of our time, will visit next Wednesday, December 28, with 5, 728 passengers along with a crew of 1292.

Beache challenged the public to play their part in ensuring that everything is well organized on Wednesday.{{more}}

“We have to show that we can handle a crowd of that magnitude and let the cruise ship industry know that we are ready to get even more ships into St.Vincent and the Grenadines. This will depend on how we handle ourselves,” said Beache, who urged Vincentians to get ready by tomorrow since Monday and Tuesday next week are public holidays.

Beache disclosed that 700 of the visitors will be going on organised tours while another 3,000 passengers will descend upon Kingstown.

“These calls are going to be the make-it-or-break-it for St.Vincent and the Grenadines. A lot depends on the product that we offer, the services that we give and the experience that the visitors will get when they come to St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Vida Bernard, Director of Tourism.

“It is important that as Vincentians we give our very best to the visitors when they come,” Bernard added.

Bernard also noted that every Vincentian has an important role to play in ensuring that the visitors have a memorable experience.

She sent out an appeal to taxi operators not to swindle the visitors out of their money: “Do it for your country”.

Meanwhile, Beache said former Minister of Tourism, Rene Baptiste, did a tremendous job while she held the post.

“She was probably the best Minister of Tourism we ever had,” said Beache, who had served under Baptiste for a period of one year as Marketing Manager.

He said during his tenure at the helm of the Ministry of Tourism he will be concentrating his efforts on product development since this is the way to make St.Vincent and the Grenadines more marketable.

Beache also announced February 3-4 as the dates for Blues Festival 2006. Among the featured acts will be Isaac Hayes, Rockin’ Dopsey Jr, and the Canela from Cuba.

Beache disclosed that tickets will be available from the first week in January, while adding it may be the last time the Blues Festival is held early in the year.

Due to the staging of major regional events such as the Barbados Jazz Festival and Trinidad Carnival, Beache said he would like to see the event scheduled for a later period in the year when there is less competition.

Beache said he will make the recommendation when he meets with the stakeholders.