Black Immigrant Daily News
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Former Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee has asserted that tourism jobs are in jeopardy due to the current crime problem.
Fedee described the crime as a cancer eating away at the fabric of Saint Lucian society.
In this regard, the former Anse La Raye-Canaries MP declared that tourism is continually anxious about criminal activity.
He told a news conference on Wednesday that the industry has dealt with the matter by sweeping crime incidents against tourists under the carpet over the years.
“Believe you me when I tell you that many jobs in the tourism sector are at risk because of this crime situation – that many farmers are at risk of losing their supply contracts to the hotels because of this crime situation,” Fedee stated.
In addition, he mentioned the threat posed by crime to the jobs of taxi drivers and to government taxes.
He also referred to Prime Minister Philip J Pierre’s address on Sunday to the nation on crime.
“The Prime Minister cannot come and give us a glossy speech and to sugarcoat this issue and to tell us his administration is doing this and doing that,” Fedee told reporters.
He said the cruise and hotel sectors are already not dealing with some small tourist attractions.
“Now, if you ask a lot of the small businesses that the SLP administration is trying to promote in their new mantra of community tourism, that unless they have public liability insurance of minimum $US 1M coverage in a lot of instances they require $US 2M in public liability insurance coverage before the industry will deal with them,” the former Tourism Minister told the news conference.
Fedee explained that the requirement was due to increased liability on community tourism because of a prevailing crime situation on which the government is putting a band aid.
“Blaming the police is not enough. Saying that you bought vehicles for the police is not enough,” the former Minister noted.
“It is a fundamental mistake on the part of this administration to have cancelled the contract for the canine unit,” he observed.
According to Fedee, the unit had been successful with sniffer dogs intercepting drugs and illegal guns entering Saint Lucia.