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The Tourism Authority will see an EC$5.4 million increase in its operations budget this year if lawmakers approve, in the Budget next week, the same figures passed on Monday in the Estimates of Income and Expenditure for 2017.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament on Monday that the 2017 budget for Other Transfers is EC$118.8 million, an increase of EC$13.4 million or 12.7 per cent over the budget for 2016.

The growth in this category of expenditure is mainly related to cost associated with the coming to operation of the Argyle International Airport.

The EC$729 million airport will open on Feb. 14, six years behind schedule and without any international carrier committing to making scheduled flights to the destination.

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Gonsalves told Parliament that the subvention to the tourism authority — the state entity charged with promoting St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a tourist destination — has been increased by EC$5.4 million to meet the cost of international airlines guarantees and marketing support.

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A new EC$5 million subvention has been included under aviation services programme to provide for financial support for the Argyle International Airport, the prime minister said.

Other disbursements under Other Transfers would be: grants to local and other agencies — EC$7.9 million; contributions to domestic and foreign organisations — EC$20.8 million; social assistance (cash and in kind) — EC$19.2 million; training — EC$10.8 million; and medical benefit — EC$0.18 million.

In his response to the Estimates, Leader of the Opposition Godwin Friday criticised the government for only disbursing to the Tourism Authority a fraction of the money budgeted to the agency.

He said the situation persists over years, notwithstanding the importance of the tourism industry to the Vincentian economy.

The 2017 Estimates total EC$976,943,437, a 7 per cent increase over the approved Budget for 2016.

The 2017 estimates is comprised of recurrent expenditure, inclusive of Amortisation and Sinking Fund contributions of EC$747,376,387 and capital expenditure of EC$229,567,050

The budget is financed by current revenue of EC$590,740,680 and capital receipt of EC$368,202,747.

Friday said the government always falls short of spending the amount under the capital budget, and those targets are not met under the everyday functions of institutions because they are not familiar.


‘Build it and they will come’ is not true — Roraima boss

3 replies on “Gov’t budgets $5.4m to woo int’l airlines to Argyle”

  1. Patrick Ferrari says:

    Five point four million? To “woo?” To woo who done woo? The money must be for something other than wooing.

    Is that or is lying with intent in public office – over many years.

    From the IADC newsletter, compliments Searchlight

    “Airlines Express Wish to Fly to SVG

    Minister of Tourism Glen Beache made this announcement on Tuesday, September 28, at a press conference, following his return from a two-and-a-half week trip to Venezuela and Canada.

    ‘I can guarantee this, that we will have at least one major airline coming in from each of the big three countries. When I say that, I mean Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.’

    The Minister was speaking about feedback from executives of West Jet Airlines, Jet Blue, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airlines, among others, following a number of trade shows in Canada.”

    From Searchlight Fri, Nov, 2012

    “An announcement is expected to be made by the middle of 2013, to indicate which airlines will be flying into the international airport at Argyle.

    Glen Beache, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA), made the announcement on Tuesday at a press conference.

    ‘We have a good idea which ones will be coming in, but we prefer not to say that yet,’ Beache said.”

    1. The jig will soon be up for all and one to see:

      (1) The whole Argyle project has been an exercise in deceit and deception.

      (2) The reason for this is that our beloved mainland has never been and could never be a desirable mass-tourism destination, a fact anyone who has vacationed in many of our prime Caribbean holiday areas understands and a fact our local tourism specialists and their political handlers also know.

      (3) That is why we are having a phoney opening of the airport on February 14, an event that is the first election rally in a soon to be announced national election.

      (4) That election would have to be called sooner rather than later because an election three years from now would be fought on the back of all the failed Argyle expectations: few if any regularly scheduled non-stop flights from North America and Europe supplemented by the occasional charter flight from these regions plus no new additional hotel projects at the Mt. Wynne/Peter’s Hope area, the faltering of the existing Black Sands Resort effort, and the continued shutdown of the Buccament Bay resort.

  2. Yes Patrick, the wooing is not cheap. Consider how many big-wigs they are going to give free, all expense- paid trips to SVG. The Comrade will take them to dinner in Trinidad, an overnight or two on Mustique,… You and I would not offer such a waste of taxpayer’s money, but we are not in charge. Remember: “Build it and they will come.”? They are just putting a lot of grease to the skids. Too much grease. We know we will slide off the track; but don’t worry, the economy will keep churning out the money and the Comrade will keep blowing it. There is bound to be someone dumb enough to sign on the dotted line; there always is, until they realize what a mistake they made and run out of here like all investors do.

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