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.