by Linda Straker
- Town hall meeting held on 31 October revealed 6 priority areas
- Tourism has been focal point of Grenada’s development for last 20 years
- World-class healthcare will promote and support another aspect of tourism
The tourism sector will not be a direct priority for the Dickon Mitchell administration over the next 5 years. Instead, the industry should benefit from the 6 priority areas that the Government will focus on during the period.
Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell told a town hall meeting on 31 October that the 6 priority areas for his government will be:
- Health and Wellness
- Transforming the Education sector with particular emphasis on Youth and Sports
- Agriculture, Food Security and the Marine Economy
- Physical and Digital Infrastructure
- Culture and the Creative Economy
- Energy Transition and the Environment
“Tourism was not mentioned because, to some extent, we think that tourism has been the industry that has been the focal point of Grenada’s development for the last 20 years, and we believe that the areas we have identified will, in fact, help to strengthen and transform the tourism industry to get to a place where it needs to get,” Mitchell responded to a question which sought justification for not making tourism a priority.
Mitchell, a lawyer by profession elected as the party’s leader one year ago, said that transformative initiatives in the 6 priority areas would work in the best interest of the tourism sector. “When we talk about transforming our healthcare services, that is directly linked to transforming our tourism because I can tell you if I was a wealthy tourist and I heard that the hospital service is not so good… I will think twice about coming,” he said.
“If I am a returning national and I have to jump on a plane to get back to Canada or get back to New York or Atlanta to get a routine medical checkup, I will think twice about coming here to Grenada.” He disclosed that a new hospital would be built, but did not provide details of the location and source of funding.
“Tourists tend to be adventurous when they travel. Someone is more likely to think about cosmetic surgery when they travel. They are more likely to think about some tummy tuck when they travel. So, if you really want to promote tourism or health tourism you kind of need to fix the healthcare and get it to world-class standards and that is how you promote another aspect of tourism,” said the Prime Minister.
“So that when people come here, they actually have something to do if they are adventurous. Yes, we have lovely beaches, waterfalls etc., but the reality is if the health services are not at the standard that it needs to be, then our tourism will, in fact, be stagnant. The same goes for Culture, the Arts, and the Creative Economy. People don’t just travel for travelling sake. They want an experience; they want to learn. They want to experience something,” he said.
Even though Tourism is not our top priority, we cannot ignore the people that come home in good faith to enjoy Grenada, that includes the Grenadian Tourists who come from all over to enjoy our home. We spent the most money at home but we are sometimes treated shabbily. No respect is shown to us. We need to be more courteous to any and everyone who enters our beautiful, publicized Island of Spice.
Time to properly staff the airport during large flights.
But let’s not destroy a pristine wilderness that is home to our severely endangered national bird just to build this new hospital. We need climate resilience, too, after all, and the environment — especially wetlands like Mt. Hartman– are critical to facing coming storms….
Amazing that this is the only story you were able to extract from the Townhall meeting, but aye, I see you. I guess the ‘other thing’ needs investigating. Smh.
As a regular visitor (tourist )to Grenada staying for 3 months each visit
I think Mr Mitchell vision is extremely insightful and has the possibility to benefit a significant amount of the Grenadian people and I wish everyone involved the best of luck in achieving these goals
My God a leader that actually leads. This is actually what Grenada needs right now. I totally agree with the pm. With a proper health care system, tourism will flourish.
Words of wisdom – Grenada is situated in a perfect spot to benefit from an improved health care environment for its citizens, travelers, students ……