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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in a March 4, 2024 Facebook live/API photo.
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in a March 4, 2024 Facebook live/API photo.
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Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is calling on local hotels and other tourism sector operators that received concessions from his Unity Labour Party (ULP) government to talk about them.

He told a press conference on Monday that he had asked Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves to tell him how many entities had applied for concession in the transportation sector of the industry over the last few months.

“He told me 12,” the prime minister said. “I want one or two or all of them fellas to say. Don’t allow the crazies alone to talk,” he further stated, referring to a shortened form of “internet crazies”, an insulting term he often uses to describe people who use the internet to criticise his administration.

“Talk the facts gi’ me,” Gonsalves said. “Don’t allow me only to talk about them. I want hear your voice. I want to hear the hotels, local hotels, whom we have given concessions and they’re expanding.”

He was speaking amidst criticism of his government over the extent of concessional given to Sandals Resorts International, which the finance minister has said invested US$200 million in the Beaches Resort at Buccament Bay, which opens March 27.

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“You think without Argyle International and the level of concessions that Myah could ah build?” he said, referring to Myah’s Luxury Suites Hotel, which opened in Diamond last year.

“You think a man going tek 20 something million dollars ah he own money and put it down for joke?” Gonsalves said.

“You think the Gunn family at a wonderful hotel at Beachcombers would have expanded? And they get the concessions.

“Magnificent lady, Ruth Stephens up at Hotel Alexandrina. Please forgive me if I leave out some people, but I’m giving examples. I don’t want to talk Ruth business. But Ruth recently got expanded concessions because she’s expanding her hotel. Thank God.”

Gonsalves said it was the same thing with Kelly Glass who owns hotels in St. Vincent and in Bequia.

“I want the people who getting the concessions to talk,” he said.

Gonsalves said that the New Democratic Party administration, which the ULP defeated in 2021, used to give concessions to set up a manufacturing plant but not for equipment.

“We give you for equipment, we give you for spare parts … We extended those concessions. Ask the people who doing the peanuts and the jams and the local agro-processors and so on and so forth and so forth. Some of them are very high quality. Some of modest quality and some just get in …”

Gonsalves noted that under the Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises programme, people receive up to EC$40,000 in grants to start or expand their businesses.

“So, what are they talking about? What do you get from the opposition? ‘Oh, we will help the small people them.’ We will help them? How they going help other than some general vacuous platitudes?” the prime minister said.

One reply on “PM urges local hoteliers who get concessions to talk about them”

  1. C. ben-David says:

    Yes, these NDP internet crazies need to stop writing nonsense about concessions only given to a handful of individuals and companies.

    They also need to admit that poor people also get concessions via the absence of import duties on many food items they eat every day, not to mention the absence of duties on the contents of thousands of barrels shipped here during the Christmas concession period.

    There are also price controls translating to concessions on public transportation by vans, also a big help for poor people.

    The list goes on and one, why the ULP has won five in a row elections and destined to win a fifth one with even more votes and seats.

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