News
November 20, 2009
Shillingford leaves Tourism Authority

Less than one year after taking up the post, Yvonne Armour Shillingford is saying adieu as head of the National Tourism Authority.{{more}}

The announcement was made by Tourism Minister Glen Beache last Friday at a press conference heralding Tourism Week.

“Miss Yvonne Armour Shillingford is no longer the CEO of the Tourism Authority. We have agreed to part ways with each other,” he informed the media at the National Insurance Services Training Room, where the press conference was held.

Armour Shillingford took up the post at the newly minted Authority in February this year, with a mandate to lead the corporation in promoting tourism in St. Vincent and the Grenadines locally, regionally and on the international market.

Until a new head for the Authority is appointed, Chief Operating Officer of the Authority Faylene Findlay-Scrubb will act in the capacity of CEO, Beache indicated.

Speaking to Searchlight on Monday, during her final week in the state, the Dominica-born Shillingford said that though disappointed to leave, she was happy and honoured to have been of service to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and has no doubt that the Authority will do well.

“The Tourism Authority is still in its infancy stage and I see no reason why it should not thrive,” Shillingford said.

“I am very glad to have contributed to the Authority since I am very much a Caribbean person. I wish the Tourism authority and St. Vincent and the Grenadines the very best.”

Armour Shillinford said that she was happy that she was, among other things, able to create a much more co-ordinated and professional approach to the marketing agencies overseas.

These are based in the North America, United Kingdom, and Trinidad and Tobago, among other places.

She suggested that the person filling her shoes would have to bridge the disconnect between the public and private sectors, and called for a more cohesive partnership among stakeholders within the tourism industry, the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Authority for a better tourism product.

“There needs to be a strategic unified focus. I would have liked to see all partners involved sit down at the table for a unified plan. This would give the Authority strong roots.”

Meanwhile, despite the loss of its top executive, Minister Beache said that he has confidence in the young Authority, just over one year old, and that the decision to release Shillingford was the best thing to do.

“I look forward to great things from the Authority as usual.’

“We have a very talented young staff who I believe under Scrubb will be doing great things.”

“It’s a pity that we have to part ways (with Armour Shillingford) especially (since) not even a year has gone by, but sometimes we have to make these decisions and move on and do what’s best for tourism and the organization.”(JJ)