ANGUILLA–Speaking at the opening of Tourism Week on Monday, December 3, Chief Minister Victor Banks who is Minister of Tourism spoke of the need for all Anguillians to raise standards of service and take pride in maintaining the environment. “There is much work to be done,” he said, quoting the theme this year that is “Beyond Extraordinary: Transforming the Anguillian Experience” that shows the enormity of the task.
Banks spoke of the devastation last year and his appreciation for all that has been done for the recovery. He said not a single investor, local or expatriate, had walked away from Anguilla after Hurricane Irma. “Today we are scheduled to begin the season with even more rooms than we had in 2017. This is a tremendous achievement that demands our collective expression of gratitude.”
However, he went on to point out what needs to be done. “Most of the visitors who will be coming to Anguilla this season may expect that they will meet some facilities that are not yet fully recovered. However, they will not expect any compromise on the quality of service for which we have become renowned. Nor will they understand why our surroundings are dirty and littered.” He urged everyone to make a difference by ensuring that garbage bins are not overflowing and empty bottles and Styrofoam containers are not littering the roadsides. He also said there is no excuse to be openly rude or discourteous to customers.
“I believe that the stakeholders of the tourism industry are in fact the entire Anguillian community. We can build five-star accommodations and business places – but we must also develop the five-star services in every sector to complement them. It does not matter where we work or where we play. We must always be cognisant of the reality that our conduct – our attitude – brands the products and services we promote. We are the brand! And we must exhibit that brand in everything we do.”
Looking to the future, Banks said there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months. He said the government is working on the temporary terminal facility at Blowing Point, they are actively engaged with the UK government for approvals for implementing the airport expansion, there are a number of marina sites at various stages of promotion, and there is construction taking place for new tourism facilities around the island.
“There is indeed great promise for growth in the tourism sector and all signs are indicating that we will have a busy 2018-2019 season. We believe that if we apply the spirit of resilience that brought us thus far to the task of transforming Anguilla, we will certainly be able to give visitors to our destination an experience that is indeed far ‘beyond extraordinary.’”