Saint Lucia’s Tourism Minister, Dr. Ernest Hilaire is openly lamenting the absence of LIAT. He expressed that despite his negative views on the airline’s reputation while it was in operation, the pandemic has shown that the Caribbean needs LIAT more than we admit.
“Yes, we must all agree LIAT was not the best example of a well-run, well-managed company. There are a lot of criticisms of LIAT but we have had experiences over decades that when others came, promised a lot and failed to deliver, we always had to go back and rely on LIAT with all its deficiencies,” Hilaire said.
He explained the need for regional travel in Saint Lucia.
“We need LIAT,” Hilaire told a meeting of the Island’s Tourism Advisory Committee on Thursday.
“We actually do not have high regional travel right now and regional travel was probably our second largest source of arrivals in 2019 and we virtually have no regional travel and we are already up to 75-80 percent of what we were in 2019 without a significant regional travel component. And it is an issue that I am going to raise with the Prime Minister in a very detailed way. What can we do to provide greater support to LIAT to get LIAT functioning once again?” The tourism minister said.
The Minister elaborated on the need to sit down and discuss how Saint Lucia can contribute to getting LIAT functioning a lot better than it is currently in order to strengthen the region travel capacity of the country.