Head of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, Glen Beache speaking at the signing ceremony at Mt Wynne on Tuesday. (Photo: Discover SVG/Facebook)

Head of the Tourism Authority Glen Beache, said that when the government decided to build Argyle International Airport (AIA), some persons said that a small plane would not land there.

When that happened, they said a LIAT aircraft would not be able to land there.

That was realised and they said no big plane and then no recognised airline, he said.

“They came in,” said Beache who, after years of trying, had failed to convince any international carrier to fly to Argyle International Airport by the time it opened in February 2017, six years behind schedule.

He, however, told a signing ceremony in Mt Wynne, on Tuesday, that there would be a similar response to the US$50 million, 250-room hotel that the government plans to build at Mt Wynne, to be managed by Marriott International.

“So I expect with the coming on stream of Marriot International that first it would be that no parrot would stay there, then after that, it might be no Vincentian would stay there, and after that it might be that no international visitor would stay there.

“For all the naysayers in terms of what we have done and continue to do, please join me in welcoming Marriott to the shore of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Beache said.

He said that “amazingly enough”, since AIA was opened two years ago, the attention being paid to SVG is undeniable.

“Many a time before that airport opened, … we had to work hard to get investors to actually meet with us, potential investors, because why are you going to open a 250-room hotel if there is no way to get potential victors here?”

He said that the opening of AIA had made a huge difference “in terms of how we approach these meetings.

“A lot of times now, the investors are looking for us now…”

Almost three years after AIA opened, Beache said one of the issues he has had is convincing an airline to fly from the United Kingdom to SVG.

“And it is not easy. But in this day and age of social media where we have so many experts who know everything about absolutely nothing, it is amazing to see what is being said and to a certain extent — let me not say a certain extent, I am not happy that it is taking place but at least it is giving people an understanding of what negotiations with airlines are like,” said Beache, who admitted years ago that he learnt a lot about negotiations by trying to attract carriers to SVG.

He noted that Virgin would no longer service St. Lucia from next year, adding that one of the reasons for that is that the airline is asking for US$20 million over three years, which is not a revenue guarantee.

“I am not going to go into details of what my discussion with Virgin or BA have been like, but that should give you an idea of what is expected.”

He said that SVG’s contracts with American Airlines, Air Canada and CAL are based on revenue.

“What they are asking for is nothing based on revenue. It is a flat-out payment to the airline and no matter what the airline is, that has to be paid. So it gives you an idea of what is [being] looked for,” he said of the UK carriers.

“But with a hotel like Marriott coming on stream, it helps us because one of the issues that has been occurring in our negotiations has been our room stock,” Beache said.

He said SVG presently has between 2,000 to 2,200 rooms and most airlines look for 3,500 to 4,000 rooms.

He said that while the Vincentian diaspora is important, in negotiations, airlines are more concerned about the leisure traveller “because it is not only about selling seats.

“It is about filling up the rooms. Because airlines are not just about airline industry, they are involved in the tour operator industry. And so, sell the seats, sell the hotel rooms, sell the rental cars, all of that is what the airlines are about,” Beache said.

“So having a strong name like Marriot come on board makes my job, I am not going to say a lot easier, a bit easier. And as we continue to push to try and see if we get those direct flights out of the UK, it is a big feather in my cap that I can now say Marriott is now coming on stream with 250 rooms.”

7 replies on “They’ll say ‘no parrot would stay’ at Mt Wynne Marriott — Beache”

  1. This young man who’s just around average in terms of intelligence and smarts got far by piggy backing on his late father. I know lots of Vincies who would make this dude look dumb but ,they are not connected to the main source so they languish in this system that’s been created to reward the dumb and punish the ambitious. Very sad state of affairs indeed.

  2. Na left mouth in mi moma

    We are paying you and we can say that we want. Your job is to deliver the products.

    Mr Glen Beaches, all Vincentian have/has a right to express their opinions it is in stated in our Constitution. Bill of Rights. We can opposed, we can concer, support, disagree, asked questions etcs.

    Mr Beache, I believe you removed yourself from the political side and was given a job to Head of Tourism Authority (what ever that means) Tourism is a National product but you are playing polictic with. You are not a politician anymore.
    Your words are very rude and condescending. This is not your place. You are been paid very high to work on our behalf, look for the opportunities and leave your insults and your politic aside . Greatly appreciated.

    I also looking at disrespectful trend. The Minister of Tourism is left out in all functions in speaking and signing of Documents in all the photos that we are seeing.

    The question is he is been left out, His he to blind to see, or he is only jolly old fellow by name recognition, the West St George Constituent? English: Is he only there as a polictical stooges for ULP.
    Smell the coffee Mc, it getting to black, your place is diminishing.

    My two cents

  3. Urlan Alexander says:

    Glen Beache you’re no longer the minister of tourism the politician you are now the tourism authority head, a punlic servant. Youe rantings every time you open your mouth it is always a political rant. Time you act and behave like the professional you are supposed to be rather than be like that market woman behaviour you frequently display

  4. It took the Cubans nine years to build the airport which was a three year project. Thats a six year overrun.
    Similar figures for the Georgetown hospital facility a six year overrun.

    If these people were proper contractors tied to proper terms we would not have all the extra costs created by their incompetence. The only reason we use them is because our PM Ralph Gonsalves is in some way tied to them politically. He loves them and gives them help and business that is not to the general benefit of the Vincentian Nation.

    The ULP and its policies should have taken 3 years to implement, so far it’s 20 years and the are still a failure.

    Established industry destroyed under the ULP and no new industry established. Thousands out of work and no prospects.

    The only thing established in record time was the Gonsalves/Francis dynasty and its plantation.

  5. What the hell is this guy problem .who he think he is.frist he suggested gay tourism.And now telling us don’t say there are no way for touris to go.boy tril yo dam slef.and let people say how they feel . are they breaking the law?.

  6. I would like to see some figures from the tourist industry. I notice they post figures of the number of people coming to SVG, but no figures to show how much money is generated.
    For example: What is the cost of operating AIA? Keep in mind visitors don’t pay to enter SVG. The airlines have to be paid as explained by Head of the Tourism Authority Glen Beache; when referring to the St. Lucia and Virgin episode.
    Does the passengers’ fare cover the total cost to the airlines and if not who pays the airlines the extra amount they need to bring passengers into SVG? If the figures don’t show a profit, then Vincentian are paying to support AIA.
    How about figures showing the money generated from the passengers on the tourist boats and from folks who come via yachts.
    I am also wondering if Marriott can get Buccament resort back online, instead of the government borrowing money for Mt Wynne. Marriott doesn’t have to put a cent into the MT. Wynn venture, so they can talk all they want and “talk is cheap”. Right now there are lots of start-ups, but most are incomplete or have financial problems.
    I’d love to see some figures that show the benefit SVG derive from tourism compared to the figures from agriculture, although the government would like to kill it.

  7. That our problem people being paid form the public purse stand on public platforms and make their politics known. Sad we want tourism to take off the approach however is gambling with too much of the states assets with no guarantee.

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