Minister of Tourism, Cecil “Ces” McKie. (iWN file photo)

The Ministry of Tourism is encouraging residents of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to go on “staycations” — vacation within the country — in an effort to boost tourism.

“As a result of the reduced numbers that we expect for visitors to the destination, the ministry is promoting, in a large way, staycations… we are going to be encouraging our local people to become visitors in their own country, and we are developing the various tourism sites; we are developing the various packages that are on offer, Minister of Tourism Cecil “Ces” McKie told Parliament last week.

“And therefore, we are encouraging Vincentians; you don’t have to go overseas for your vacation this year. Do so right here in St Vincent and Grenadines, check into a hotel, find out what packages are on offer, and therefore you can become a tourist in your own country,” he said in response to a question by Opposition leader Godwin Friday.

Friday had asked the minister to say how the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting the country.

McKie said that in addition to the work that his ministry is doing on the local tourism product, it has established an advisory committee that includes expertise from across ministries and stakeholders in the industry.

“So they will be looking at things such as taxi and tour services, site attractions, diving, yachting, accommodation, spas, and restaurants. And they, of course, would be advising the ministry. They’re already in the process of doing so. And therefore, we can significantly improve on our offerings,” said.

The minister continued:  

“One of the things that will be important is the whole question of standards.”

He said SVG was one of the first among countries in the region to establish standards in the industry.

“Those have been revised because COVID has changed all of that. And, therefore, we will be releasing, in collaboration with the stakeholders, what these new standards are, what persons will be expected to do when they go into these hotels when they visit these various sites…” McKie said.

6 replies on “Ministry encourages local vacations to boost tourism”

  1. Ces the question to you need is , can the average Vincentian afford this or any other type of vacation? The writer assumes that the average Vincentian has disposal income to afford this initiative. He is living in a bubble to assume otherwise. Times are tough for the average citizen. I am not saying this from perspective of Vincentian who are Government supporters and have access to government money, salaries or otherwise and are insulated from the economic downturn in the economy. No wonder in why the Ulp has seen Ces Mackie as a political liability in WSG and decided he should be dumped in favor of Curtis King, because the man had no vision and was bound to lose in the upcoming general election.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    Lots of expatriates likes myself who return regularly to SVG from cold northern countries for a “winter” holiday chronically complain that there is very little to do back home except go to the beach for a sea bath, meaning mainly Mt. Wynne and Buccament Bay.

    How could this initiative ever possibly be attractive to those who live in SVG all the year round?

  3. Mr. McKie people are scrambling to find money to clear bills. All small businesses has been suffering for the last 3 months and are still feeling the pinch, go find some money to help, then maybe we could go on your staycation.

    Stop living in your head.

  4. Mr. Staycation I’ve just added your word to the dictionary. You are creating brothels with this idea with your idea. Why would anyone leave their home/house and pay to stay at a hotel. What tourist site are you referring to Mr. Staycation? The only attraction n SVG are the beaches and they are in trouble. The waterfalls are useless because no proper roads are constructed to get to them. I visited Montreal Gardens some years ago because my niece hear about it and wanted to visit. I wasn’t impressed and the road to get there is in a bad state.
    Folk’s vacation involves SUN, SEA and SAND. Most people have them already and don’t have to pay, except those folks on the Windward side have to travel to the Leeward to find a beach.
    Your idea of yachting, diving and fishing are more attractive to Staycation people. Wind surfing on the Windward side of the island is a very positive investment project. I will happily invest in such a project, because it can and will be available to people of all ages. Then there are machines use to water ski that can probably be manufactured in SVG, which will create jobs for the unemployed.
    There are lots more ideas, but I will stop here.

  5. When there is a downturn in the economy, the first causality is discretionary expenditures. The average Vincentian do not have the kind of disposable income to kick start the economy by proposing local tourism. There is nothing exostic about local tourism when you live here year around . We have year round sunshine , accordingly, there is no such incentive to even enjoy local natural entertainment spots. It shows that the writer is out of touch with Vincentian reality. Futher, he will be considered to be a stranger to the suffering endured by Vincentian.

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