Tourism bodies launched
July 10, 2009
Tourism bodies launched

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) and the National Parks Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPRBA) have officially been launched. The launch of the two bodies took place on Thursday, July 2, 2009 at National Insurance Services (NIS) conference room.{{more}}

Guest Speaker, Minister of Tourism Glen Beache, praised both the SVGTA and The NPRBA for their hard work in the tourism industry. While stating that there are many challenges faced by the Tourism industry, Beache stated that he has confidence in both organizations, which he dubbed the “best statutory bodies in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

Commending the NPRBA, Beache stated that the group has done a lot in the short period they have been in operation. The NPRBA is responsible for the management of national recreational parks, rivers, beaches and streams in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. According to Beache, at the end of the year, the NPRBA will also have control over the Botanic Gardens, which his currently being managed by the Government.

Beache also spoke of the need for balance when managing tourism resources. “We will not allow Blocko’s on the beach for four Sundays every month,” he stated. While stressing that he will not ban the blocko’s completely, Beache said that balance must be maintained to preserve the few beaches on St. Vincent.

Commending the SVGTA on their work, the Minister urged them to stay focussed and perform well. “We cannot look good on paper and don’t perform outside. We must have focus and know the direction in which we are headed,” he stated.

Beache also called for more collaboration between hoteliers and the government to produce the best possible tourism product in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The launch was also attended by Grenadian Hotelier, Sir Royston Hopkins who was the guest speaker at a Tourism Forum held earlier that day. Hopkins urged the stakeholders of the local tourism industry to invest more in marketing St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a tourism product and to work closer with other Caribbean countries to improve their tourism industry. Tourism Marketing Expert John Yacoumis, during the forum also presented ways in which the Tourism sector in St. Vincent and the Grenadines can be improved.

The launch was attended by various representatives of the Ministry of Tourism including representatives of the SVGTA, the NPRBA and overseas agents and sales representatives of the Ministry of Tourism from London, France and North America.

Members of the SVGTA and The NPRBA presented the staff of the organizations which have been in operation for over six months and two years respectively. Both organizations will work closely with the government in order to develop the tourism industry in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The Ministry of Tourism along with both organizations are currently involved in a Tourism Development Project which is aimed at developing a total of fifteen natural sites around the island. The project is expected to be completed by year end.(OS)