Entrance fees definite for tourism sites
February 12, 2010

Entrance fees definite for tourism sites

Regardless OF what the survey says, entrance fees will be instituted at a number of the newly developed tourism sites around St. Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

A ‘Willingness to pay Study’, which will be conducted by the Ministry of Tourism and the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority (NPRBA), begins next Monday, with a number of enumerators visiting each of the 14 sites, assessing the users’ ‘willingness to pay’ an entrance fee.

Representing the NPRBA, Hayden Billlingy indicated that the study will determine what financial mechanism will be employed to recover costs and maintain the standards at the sites, to ensure that a quality product is sustained.

“This study will speak to the issue of whether or not Vincentians and visitors are willing to look at their environment and look at the important value that is attributed to it, and how best to enjoy them while they preserve them.”

Billingy indicated that these fees, when determined and gazetted, therefore making them law, will go towards the maintenance of the parks.

Although there are currently no entrance fees to the venues, Billingy indicated that for some, there are already fees for the use of facilities at the locations. He pointed out that not all sites will have an entrance fee allotted to them.

“It is not too much to ask of Vincentians, because most of us have travelled abroad and we have seen many places that we have visited that we had to pay to enter. You would have also seen that standard which is kept at these places.”

“We also want to make sure that our sites are kept at that standard so that we could compete within this global economy.”

Tourism Minister Glen Beache, speaking on the issue, said he anticipated that at the end of the survey, most persons would say that they would not be willing to pay a fee, but it is something that has to be done.

“We have to go in this direction. This is a must.”

“We are very sensitive to this. We know it is going to take some time and it is going to take some patience on our part.”

The sites include the Botanic Gardens, Cumberland Beach Recreation Park, Dark View Falls, Falls of Baliene, Owia Salt Pond, Layou Petroglyphs, Warriacou Recreation Park, and Black Point Heritage and Recreation Park.