GLEN BEACHE, MINISTER OF TOURISM, YOUTH AND SPORTS for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is probably the most straight-shooting minister Travel Agent has spoken to in a while.
Ask him a question, and he'll give you the answer—minus any public relations speak. Whereas most destinations are looking to develop indefinitely in order to attract an ever-growing number of visitors, Beache says, "We want one more hotel, maybe two, and that's it."
He'd rather have fewer visitors who spend big than a lot of tourists who spend way less. "We are for the high-end clients," he explains. "Our destination is designed that way. It is not overdeveloped and it is unspoiled, and that's why people will continue to spend a lot of money there. If we change that, if we get too big, we might not get the type of people we are attracting now."
Tell clients visiting St. Vincent and the Grenadines to check out Beache's favorite restaurant, the French Verandah at Mariners Hotel. Call 784-457-4000 or visit www.marinershotel.com.
Beache says New York and Miami continue to be the biggest U.S. markets for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while Chicago and Denver continue to be two of the worst, due to lack of airlift from those cities. —JOE PIKE