KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Head of the Tourism Authority Glen Beache has called on citizens to desist from posting negative comments about this country on social networking sites.
Beache said at a press conference on Tuesday that negative posts could affect the country’s marketability notwithstanding recognition by international media and inquiries about the country as a photography destination.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is fifth among nine destinations on CNN’s “World’s top destinations for 2012” and third among 12 destinations listed by Travel+Leisure.
“While we receive these award … there are one or two Vincentians on Facebook who are posting letters from people who might have written a letter saying that they didn’t like St. Vincent and the Grenadines or that they had a bad experience here,” said Beache, a former Minister of Tourism.
“Now, one of these letters is one letter too many. At a time when you want the best for your country, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it makes no sense to me to post those things,” he further said.
“And people might say freedom of speech. … I have no problem with that but I think that as Vincentians, when you receive awards like this, … you milk it and … you feel very proud, considering that we are going up against every other country in the world when it comes to the tourism product.”
Beache further said that with the recognition by I international media, Vincentians have “some bragging rights within the Caribbean also that your country was the only Caribbean country to be mentioned in any of these three shows or publications.”
He further said that tourism authority believes that the country can market itself as a niche destination for photography, “without spreading ourselves too thinly”.
He said the nation’s agencies in North American and Europe have been receiving inquiries in that regard and efforts are already underway to explore the possibilities.