The good and the bad
Much has been made in the past, including the very recent past, of our interest in moving forward with high-end tourism. Sir James Mitchell spent much time extolling the virtues of this approach to tourism here since he did not believe that given our size it was possible to favourably compete with large countries in the mass tourism market.
The Canouan Resort, already subjected to changes of name as a result of changes in the management contract, for example, Rosewood to Raffles, is often held aloft as one of the centerpieces of our up-market tourism thrust. It seems to satisfy the requirements for this market segment.
The involvement of Donald Trump in investments in Canouan Casino Management, Golf Club Management and a series of Villas was hailed as adding significant value to the nations burgeoning tourism product, although rather interestingly, this latter interest seemed to have involved more the Prime Minister than it has the Minister of Tourism, past and present.
While no one would wish to belittle the Trump and other investments on Canouan, all aimed at elevating our status as a prime tourism destination, we must nonetheless be realistic about what lies before us and move rapidly to ensure that we are involved enough to guarantee that benefits accrue to us more deliberately.
Rather interestingly, the article quoted in The Vincentian relating the launch of Trumps Golf Tournament on Canouan for May 2006, nowhere mentions St Vincent and the Grenadines. For all intents and purposes Canouan could have been anywhere in the world, standing as an island on its own, a sovereign territory. Wherein therefore is the benefit for St Vincent and the Grenadines as a whole?
It seems that we are supposed to benefit by proxy; by virtue of Canouan being a part of the state by happenstance.
We seem as a nation to have been left at the stating gates. In fact it may be more appropriate to state that we may not even have been invited to the start, since we may not have been aware of the launching before it occurred.
Additionally, in countries like Barbados, Jamaica, Bermuda and the Bahamas, to name a few, the Tourism authorities are eagerly involved in high-profile sporting activities hosted by leading hotel chains, such that these feature prominently in their annual Sports Calendars and tourism promotions.
The good and the bad