St. Lucia's new minister of
tourism and civil aviation is native St. Lucian Allen Chastanet,
managing director of two Coco Resorts properties in St. Lucia: Coco
Kreole and Coco Palm.
sworn in on Dec. 19, assuming the post
under John Compton, recently elected prime minister of St.
As tourism minister,
Chastanet automatically becomes the chairman of the Caribbean
Tourism Organization for the next two years, a post made vacant
when the former tourism minister, Phillip Pierre, lost that
position when Kenny Anthony was defeated by Compton in St. Lucia's
Chastanet was St.
Lucia's director of tourism from 1991 to 1994, serving under
Compton who previously led St. Lucia for 29 years, from 1964 to
1979 and again from 1982 to 1996.
In naming Chastanet
to the minister's post, Compton said, "In our drive to diversify
and modernize our economy we've invested heavily in tourism, both
by the private and the public sectors. This area will, in the
foreseeable future, be the lead sector in our economy."
Compton said that "he has demonstrated the vision to see the road
ahead and to prepare us for the challenges in this fiercely
The prime minister
pointed out that while "St. Lucia may be beautiful, we must realize
that we are not the only pebble on the beach. To meet the
competition, we must mobilize the best brains and resources. [Mr.]
Chastanet will be backed by a team [that has] excellent track
records in this field."
diffused any talk of conflict of interest with Chastanet's hotel
interests. "His own interest in this field is no conflict but an
incentive from which the entire industry will benefit. He also has
the portfolio of civil aviation so he can bring in the planes to
fill the hotels."
Chastanet has resigned as managing director of Coco Resorts and his
vacated role will be shared by his sister Feolla Chastanet; general
manager Jean St. Rose; CFO Richard DuBoulay; and senior operations
manager Claudine Gilbert.
resigned his position as first vice president of the Caribbean
Hotel Association. That post has not been filled as of
In addition to previously serving as
director of tourism in St. Lucia, Chastanet's former tourism
experience includes eight years at Air Jamaica, leaving as vice
president of marketing and sales in 2003 to return to St. Lucia and
develop Coco Resorts. He also served as a past director of sales
and marketing for Island Outpost.
To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].