The STMP project was formally launched on the 24th November last. The launch was attended by over 80 persons, representing a cross section of both the public and private sectors. Attendees included representatives of the Government, HE Governor Harrison, Parliamentarians, managers in the public service, hoteliers (large and small properties), villa owners, restaurateurs and other stakeholders.
Following introductory remarks by Ms. Jasmin Garraway, the TSDP co-ordinator, the Sustainable Tourism Master Plan project was formally launched by the Chief Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Investment, Commerce and Tourism, the Hon. Hubert Hughes.
Chief Minister Hughes described the work as a mammoth task not only for Government, but everyone on the island. He said there was a need to stimulate the tourism industry; to grow it in a sustainable manner; and protect it so that present and future generations would benefit from it. “Unless we take these measures today, there will be no tourism tomorrow”, he observed. “Preparing a Sustainable Tourism Master Plan is one of the most important measures that any developing country can take, particularly one like Anguilla which depends so heavily on tourism for its economic survival, your Government" he said "is looking ahead to a brighter future. We have a vision that Anguilla will have a more sustainable tourism industry by 2020, and so we have embraced the theme: Vision 2020 – Sustainable Tourism for Anguilla”.
Responding to the Chief Minister, Dr. Philip Heneghan, STMP team leader outlined several important aspects of the Tourism Master Plan to make Anguilla’s tourism industry sustainable. They are that it must be attractive to tourists, as part of the vision, for them to repeatedly return to the island; that the people of Anguilla must benefit; that the environment must be enhanced and preserved; that the resources of manpower and finance must be available for it to be sustainable. The tourism industry must be one that would provide not just jobs, but careers.
Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism, Haydn Hughes said that over the next few months there would be a series of stakeholder consultations on key issues with respect to what the tourism industry should look like in the future; the strategies and actions needed to be taken to achieve the vision referred to above.