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Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves. (File photo)
Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves. (File photo)
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Some 1,000 new hotel rooms will open in St. Vincent “in very, very short order”, Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves says.

He told the signing ceremony for a US$50 million loan to build hotels in St. Vincent that the new rooms “effectively, double, the hotel stock on mainland St. Vincent but add another level, sort of another star”.

The 1,000 rooms include the 392 that his government is building in two hotels at Mt Wynne and Diamond and 400 by private investors at Black Sands resort at Mt Wynne-Peter’s Hope.

A further 200 rooms are expected to re-open at Buccament Bay Resort, which has been shuttered since December 2016, and which new investors hope to reopen by December 2019.

The finance minister said other potential hoteliers have shared with the government, designs for an additional 50-plus room in that same southern cone of St. Vincent.

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Gonsalves said:

“If you had a lot of 3-star hotels operating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, now you are going to have four- and five-star hotels operating in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, whereas those types of hotels, traditional in our context, existed as small boutique hotels in the Grenadines.”

He said that once there are 1,000 additional rooms of hotel stock on St, Vincent, the island will have the critical mass of rooms to attract more frequent flights from the major carriers in North America, Latin America, and the United Kingdom.

Gonsalves said that one of the impediments the government faces in getting flights from the United Kingdom is that there are not enough hotel rooms.

“The American Airlines that flies from Miami to St. Vincent and the Grenadines seats 127 people. The Virgin Airlines or the British Airlines that flies from England seats 350 people. And so, a plane of that size coming with any degree of regularity requires more rooms.”

He said that the UK carriers are eager to come to SVG but are constrained by the room stock.

“And we have to increase our room stock to increase our plane arrivals. So, it is a critical part of making the Argyle International Airport work,” Gonsalves said.

12 replies on “St. Vincent’s hotel room to double soon — Camillo”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Why would more tourists come to the mainland when there are so few attractions, especially, as I never tire of saying, miles of white sand beaches fronting shallow aquamarine inshore waters.

    In descending order of tourist visitors, we and our immediate neighbors are ranked as follows: Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, SVG.

    This correlates 100 percent with the number and size of the white sand beaches in these countries.

    This is not rocket science. This is the story of Caribbean tourism over the past 100 years: if you don’t have the attractions, tourists won’t come regardless of how many airports and hotels you build.

  2. Jolly Green says:

    “The American Airlines that flies from Miami to St. Vincent and the Grenadines seats 127 people. The Virgin Airlines or the British Airlines that flies from England seats 350 people. And so, a plane of that size coming with any degree of regularity requires more rooms.”

    This is misleading if not a direct lie by the way it’s framed. There is no Virgin direct flight to SVG, they fly only to Barbados. Yes you can buy a ticket that says SVD but the leg between Bados and Argyle will be on LIAT and the current cost is USD$2588.

    The truth is always better than the untruth, deception by clouding the truth is unacceptable.

  3. Business Owner says:

    My question is…Will the government charge the stifling tax rate being currently imposed on existing hotel businesses, or will the government built hotels be exempt and subsidized.

    1. You can be sure the playing field will not be level. Any new hotel project carries tax hikes for quite a few years. Many of the Vincentian family hotels have supported Gonsalves for years, most have been right up the Kyber Pass. So now you will be getting payback from the Karma that we all have to deal with when making wrong choices.

      1. Holiday Inn Express are typically usually 3 star hotels.

        The Chicken Shed Hotel to be built at Mt Wynne will be 5 star for chickens but not humans.

      2. Chicken Shed Hotel! ..LOL Absolutely hilarious because that is what those buildings look like. It reminds me of the humor from Patrick Ferrari. AL says they are beautiful! For some reason I think of a fox in a henhouse.
        Why did the chicken cross the road?…To get to the ULP Rally of course!

        Actually I have nothing against the party, just the bad policies (a few of the policies are good though) and some of the craziness and the seemingly hate-fueled and brain-dead supporters that characterizes it.

    2. Business owner, your very pertinent question is so direct! These politicians will either lie to you or not give you a direct answer. I am sure that you have noticed a trend in SVG that the government sets-up government-controlled businesses to compete against the Private Sector such as in the field of Construction. I know more about this but it is taboo to mention it in public but it is all part of a long term desire to incorporate a certain Economic System in SVG that allows the government more control than it should have. We may even look for clues with what happened when the Building And Loan started having troubles. Some say that was engineered. Ask yourself: What is the purpose of National Properties and what does some of thier mandates do to the private sector?

  4. I do understand that we need more hotels in SVG, but when I travel (currently living in the US) and when I tell people that I am from there, they would ask me where is that? The Virgin Islands? Other islands are marketing themselves in the US, that’s something that SVG needs to do.

    Look in any major travel book or websites, you won’t come across SVG. My rule is, you have to spend money to make money.

    1. Very correct Dominica is very similar to SVG and they do ok in attracting visitors.Marketing is the life blood of most businesses.I search all over the Net more info the Buccament BAY Resort or opening of any hotel in SVG .They have to heavily ramp up marketing and sell SVG on what it has not what it cannot control.Like lush vegitation the Volcano .Festivals throughout the year such as the Regatta ,Vincy Mass and Nine Mornings

  5. Paul Cunningham says:

    If the Buccament Bay Resort has been unsuccessful what would prevent new rooms further down the Leeward from suffering the same fate. The attractiveness of a destination is measured by its ‘ marque value ‘. What is the ‘ marque value ‘ of SVG as a cruise destination
    The country needs yo be developed as a cruise destination by developing its sites first.
    Don’t put the horse before the cart.

  6. The Buccament Bay Resort was never successful. It was part of the ponzi scheme to attract more and more investors to put more and more money in. At any one time at least 50% of those staying there were either working for firms selling the investment product or employees of holiday agencies and also magazine holiday journalists.

    The trick was to get people to create an image of 6 stars for a 3 star facility.

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