Some persons in society corrupting tourism sector – PM Gonsalves
November 8, 2013
Some persons in society corrupting tourism sector – PM Gonsalves

While the government is working to build the tourism sector, others are hindering the process.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, while speaking in relation to an incident where two tourists were attacked on their yacht on October 3, which was moored at Frigate Rock in Union Island, said there are persons in society who “corrupt” the tourism sector.

“I was so frustrated when I got this thing. A greater effort must be made by all concerned, including the community,” he said.

“We have to stomp this out. It’s our livelihood…we always have to be adjusting and now we’re making real sacrifices in building this tourism sector and putting the infrastructure in place, it has a few people who just want to corrupt this thing”.

While answering a question posed by Terrence Ollivierre, parliamentary representative for the Southern Grenadines, Gonsalves explained that the frequencies of the Very High Frequency (VHF) radios available at various police stations and coast guard base in St Vincent and the Grenadines do not always transmit.

It was reported that the visitors, who were attacked on their yacht, sent out a distress call on the emergency frequency, however, the coastguard base did not receive the distress call.

“VHF radios operate on a straight line concept, meaning the radio waves only travel in a straight line, so any obstruction in its way will affect the communications process. There are instances when the VHF communication can only be heard within a 10 mile range,” Gonsalves said.

However, the Prime Minister indicated that there are mechanisms in place to register distress calls in the form of the Global Maritime and Distress Safety System (GMDSS), which is based in Calliaqua and provides the coastguard with the capability to receive digital selective calling alerts.

Gonsalves said after he learned of the incident, he contacted the couple who was attacked and apologized on behalf of the country.

Furthermore, he revealed that he invited the couple to return to St Vincent and the Grenadines as his personal guests, so that “we can show our own sense of hospitality and oneness”.(BK)