February 16, 2007
Beache happy with rising visitor numbers

The number of visitors to the shores of St.Vincent and the Grenadines increased by 19.7% in 2006.

That’s according to Minister of Tourism, Youth and Sports Glen Beache, who made this announcement on Wednesday at a press conference on the 2007 Blues and Rhythms festival.

Beache said the increase was a decent one, but the ministry, and Vincentians on a whole still have a lot of work to do.{{more}}

The minister noted that stay-overs were up by two percent from 95,504 in 2005 to 97,432 in 2006. Same day arrivals were up by 1.2% and yacht visitors which is the industry’s biggest sector climbed by 14.3 % from 81,890 to 93,638.

He also noted that the cruise ship industry is taking notice of the island, saying that cruise ship arrivals jumped from 69,753 to 106,474 visitors, an increase of 52.6 percent.

The minister said that although the increases are positive, the ministry is not about to rest on its laurels as there is still a lot of work to be done.

He also said that tourism is a valuable lifeline in terms of foreign exchange, and is hoping that when the figures for visitor expenditures are released there would be an increase in that area as well.

The minister stated that he would like to see certain business places, especially souvenir stores open on Sundays.

The ministry expects two cruise ships with over 5000 tourists here in late April. This is expected to boost visitor arrivals for the 2007 period.