The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

Honestly, I had no intention of writing another opinion article so soon, but with all the negative comments of persons who clearly misunderstood and wished to politicize my personal view I had to clarify some things.

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I had been “coerced” into believing that St. Vincent was and still is a place to invest my time and money by one of your citizens now living in my country. With the prospect of business on my mind, I decided to make the trip to see this isle for myself. Any research on St. Vincent shows nothing to the sort of my encounters and only highlights the picturesque side of the island.

Now whilst in the country I can say it is a lovely place that only needs a few improvements. Any country with the ambition to have their economy survive solely on tourism should at least invest in the bare necessities of the country beforehand. Transportation is the most important thing for both locals and foreigners alike in any country. Without proper roads, things can be a lot more challenging for persons who aren’t familiar with the current road network. Also, while I agree with the person who said that no one visits a country just to drive around, it is necessary no matter the vehicle. It would be a pain if tourists had to walk from the airport to their hotel because roads were unusable. Most areas also lack sidewalks, which would make things even more dangerous, given the size of the roadways. In the coming months, your country expects an increase in travellers with the highly anticipated Argyle International Airport. I estimated the current time from the new airport to the Buccament Resort at over an hour. For persons travelling long hours by flight and having to stop in Trinidad or Barbados before (only to have a delayed flight), this can be stressful or even discouraging. Maybe the construction of a hotel closer to the new airport site can alleviate the need for this long distance drive or, if not, I truly hope that the current Leeward highway is fully fixed before the opening of that airport.

Kingstown, in my opinion, still needs a major facelift. It’s the capital of the country and also the only area where trade and a person’s living can be made. The fact that I was condemned for my “shopping experience” comment means that not even the locals can get what they want and have to settle for what is there or face the trouble of importing goods. Most persons visiting a country at least look for some sort of convenience in the event that either clothing or other personal items disappear due to lost luggage (a situation I had to endure for a few days), or familiar food places as they are unfamiliar and still need to be introduced to the local cuisine. Large roads aren’t needed but isn’t a smaller surface easier to keep paved? The main reason of my careful scrutiny of the town was to find a suitable location for business (a thirst yet to be quenched). Probably of the things I mentioned those should be my ventures in the years to come.

On a more positive note, I did do quite a bit of sightseeing. The view from the top of the volcano is breath-taking and also the waterfall at Dark View was a lovely sight as well. Those things truly sold the beauty and untouched nature of the countryside. Those few things made for a great conversational piece. But is it enough?

Of the few islands I have been to on the Grenadines, I can say that a lot more effort is put into tourism there. That led me to questions, why the stark contrast? How can some persons who have been to the Grenadines never really set foot on the mainland? Is this due to the flights directly from Barbados to Union Island offered by some charters? Does this change the perspective of the tourism industry there and if so maybe my investments may be more worthwhile in one of those islands?

Frankly, I am still bewildered and shocked at most of the comments read on the Facebook page, and have had second thoughts on whether my personal investment into the economy of St. Vincent mainland will be a welcomed move. While I applaud most of you for your patriotism and undying love for your country, an open mind should at least be kept with how the country can advance in the future.

Any country cannot depend solely on whatever leader is there and equal effort must be made by the persons inhabiting that land to make the country more marketable. Whether it be upgrading the amenities of the current airport for the comfort of travellers to the upstart of a private company to tackle road issues. The little things make a huge difference in the future.

As for my nit-picking on St. Vincent, I could probably do the same for any other country, but my wish is to include my business ventures here. I really don’t care for the politics or to fuel the simple minded trolls online and I do not believe that all is lost for this country; I simply wished to highlight certain areas that with a little work can be beneficial for each and all … maybe from the help of an outsider.e

The Outsider

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

3 replies on “The Outsider Strikes Back”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Once again, your comments lack the surface credibility of coming from an “outsider” since no legitimate “outsider” investor could have been “coerced” into coming here without having done her homework on whether SVG was a good place to invest in, a task that could have been accomplished with a few hours of Internet and other research and which would clearly have exposed the limited possibilities of making money here.

    Why do you think so many of our people — rich and poor alike — have fled in the thousands for decades because it is so hard to make a living here? Why do you think so many more Vincentian-born people and their descendants are living outside SVG than at home?

    Why is it that the main investors — apart from the Syrians and Taiwanese who came here only because other Caribbean and international destinations had already been over-invested in as far as small-scale retailing and restaurants were concerned — have nearly all been overseas Vincentians eager to come back to their beloved home, only to end up losing much of their wealth in a few years investing in foolish projects ranging from meat packing plants to guest houses to small hotels to computer training enterprises?

    So who are you really and what is your motive for writing?

    1. Clement Percival says:

      C.ben-David,
      As you can see, I have been an admirer of your yours, even though I am not sure who you are, and you may not be sure who I am. I love the way you real with facts, So has ‘Outsider’. I think that you might be unfair. Regardless of the motivation in this case for writing, the observations are largely to the point and accurate.

      1. C. ben-David says:

        Yes, Clement, you must know by now that I am a “trouble man.” (At least that’s what my wife calls me.) But something does not sit right with me about these posting from “Outsider,” which makes me believe that she is an insider, big time. I may be dead wrong, but that would not be unusual (again, according to my wife, who is never wrong, or so she says.)

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