World Bank Sup­ports Tourism De­vel­op­ment in the Eastern Caribbean

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

T ourism-de­pen­dent com­mu­ni­ties in Gre­nada, Saint Lu­cia, and Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines will ben­e­fit from bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity, bet­ter in­fra­struc­ture, and im­proved tourism mar­ket de­vel­op­ment as a re­sult of a US$ 26 mil­lion re­gional project ap­proved by the Board of Direc­tors of the World Bank.

Tourism ac­counts for 61% of ex­port earn­ings in Saint Lu­cia (50% in Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines, and 45% in Gre­nada) and 42% of em­ploy­ment in Saint Lu­cia (19% for the other two cooun­tries). While tourism is the lead eco­nomic sec­tor in the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the re­gion ac­counts for less than 0.2% of world tourism ar­rivals and re­ceives less rev­enues than the rest of the Caribbean.

“There is a tremen­dous po­ten­tial to de­velop re­gional tourism in the Eastern Caribbean and the col­lab­o­ra­tion among the gov­ern­ments of Gre­nada, Saint Lu­cia and Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines is highly promis­ing,” said Tah­seen Sayed, World Bank Coun­try Direc­tor for the Caribbean. “This is an op­por­tu­nity to de­velop the tourism in­dus­try, gen­er­ate new jobs par­tic­u­larly for women and young peo­ple, and at­tract pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ments.”

The project aims to po­si­tion the three coun­tries as one multi-is­land travel des­ti­na­tion.

Among con­crete re­sults aimed at by the OECS tourism com­pet­i­tive­ness project: · Im­proved move­ment of peo­ple by pilot­ing a ferry sys­tem; · Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Fort Ge­orge in Gre­nada and Fort Char­lotte in Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines; and the re­de­vel­op­ment of down­town Cas­tries in Saint Lu­cia; · Launch of a tourism mar­ket de­vel­op­ment and pro­mo­tion in the three coun­tries.

This project is fi­nanced by a US$ 20 mil­lion credit from the In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (IDA) , and US$ 6 mil­lion loan from the In­ter­na­tional Bank for Re­con­struc­tion and De­vel­op­ment (IBRD).

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