PM urges produce vendors to lift their standards to do business with Sandals
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves
April 5, 2024

PM urges produce vendors to lift their standards to do business with Sandals

Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, underscored the need for standards in doing business with the newly opened Sandals Resorts at Buccament as he delivered the keynote speech on March 27, 2024 at the official opening of the Resort.

Making specific reference to farmers and fishers who have voiced their reluctance in this regard Gonsalves said they had been informed that Rainforest and Rayneau would be supplying seafood and agricultural produce to Sandals.

The prime minister told the audience of Sandals executives, government officials, media and other invited guests, that vendors need to be reasonable when it comes to a resort like Sandals, emphasising the need for regulating what farmers and fish vendors are accustomed to.

“If a group of fishermen get together and have fish, lobster and conch, and have a reasonable price and package it reasonably, Sandals would want to come and buy, but the idea that you would build a hotel for 600 million dollars and have the fishing boat come up here on the beach, where the tourist ‘enjoying the scent’ of 10lbs of jack-fish, 15lbs of snapper and 20lbs of dolphin, it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

He said that Sandals brings a new standard to the tourism industry and so local fishers and farmers should see it as an opportunity to compete with Sandals suppliers- Rayneau and Rainforest.

“It is so straightforward”, Dr Gonsalves said, as he explained that addressing this type of criticism is nothing new since “the criticism melts away”, after he confronts them “because it has no basis, no substance”.

There have been claims of unfair treatment over the arrangements by the resort in the purchase of agricultural and marine produce.

The prime minister spoke as well on the situation with taxi operators who also have complained about being left out after learning that Sandals will be operating its own tour service. Dr Gonsalves pointed out that there is also opportunity for taxi operators as Sandals has no vehicle to transport tourists, nor their own employees after shifts and this creates an opportunity for local operators to provide their services to the resort.

“I want to say to everyone in St Vincent and the Grenadines, there are opportunities here at Sandals for you, for employment, for providing goods and services but have yourself properly trained, have the discipline, have good products,” PM Gonsalves stressed.

The prime minister was also pleased about the pending increased air lift into the country starting this year. He said that talks about increasing the airport capacity have started and that he is pleased with the announcement of increased tourist arrivals and marketing of destination St Vincent and the Grenadines by executive chair of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart.

Sandals officially opened its doors on Thursday, March 27, 2024 welcoming its first set of visitors to the resort. Sandals was also the venue of the 8th summit of the 33 Member States of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), hosting more than 400 delegates on March 1 2024.