Opposition Leader, Dr Godwin Friday is suggesting the granting of temporary residence status to yachties who visit the shores of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
His plea on behalf of the yachties, formed part of his contribution to the 2023 Budget debate on Tuesday, January 10.
In his presentation, the Opposition leader suggested providing “cruisers- those people who live on their yachts…to be granted temporary residence to stay in St Vincent and the Grenadines on their boats.”
“In the Caribbean, we are the envy of all other Caribbean countries, when it comes to yachting, nowhere, is it better,” Friday noted.
He however pointed out that over the years SVG has lost its status as the number one yachting area in the OECS.
“We have lost so much ground over the last 15 years,”he lamented.
Stressing that the yachting sector is “a major pillar of the local economy,” Friday called for efforts to be made to encourage yachties to come to St Vincent and the Grenadines, instead of going to other places in the region.
The Parliamentary Representative for the Northern Grenadines also called for improved security for persons in this sector, both in the water and at the various bays.
He implied that it is our duty to make them “feel safe and welcome.”
We “need a plan to recover the lost ground and our leadership role in the OECS when it comes to yachting.”
He added that the increased fees for yachties in 2002 also had “a terrible effect” on the sector.
Further, that persons felt they were paying high fees and not getting good services in return.
Friday therefore criticized the 2023 Budget for having no plan on how the government intends to improve this sector.