Protecting our tourism image

Another undesirable element has brought shame on the Spice Isle and its vital tourism industry.

The person who murdered the American visitor last Sunday at a beach in St. David’s should be strongly condemned and classified as a danger and threat to what  this small island stands for – a beautiful and safe place with many warm, friendly and pleasant people.

There is nothing much else happening in Grenada and tourism will take on a more and more significant role in economic activities and job creation.

As an island with all its attendant problems, no conscientious Grenadian can afford to sit back and allow the Spice Isle to be lumped along with others as an undesirable destination for foreigners.

Grenada is still a safe haven for visitors and cannot be compared to other high-risk places like Venezuela, Brazil and even our close neighbour Trinidad and Tobago where the crime rate is concerned.

However, the two recent killings involving the Canadian Faculty member of St. George’s University (SGU) and now the American lady from Georgia should awake us to the reality that a problem does exist.

The two murders were allegedly committed by young persons – both under the age of 30.

There is emerging a new generation with a different mindset and kind of thinking and thoughtte process and who seemingly do not place much value on human lives.

THE NEW TODAY is not qualified to make positive conclusions on this area since it calls for the involvement of experts like psychologists.

However, some of our young people are demonstrating a new kind of behaviour that is totally foreign to that of the older generation.

The person who is the prime suspect in the latest murder only came out from prison eight weeks ago.

If indeed that is the person who committed the crime then it is living proof that the institution failed to return to society an individual who can be categorised as “reformed” and ready to take his rightful place back in society.

And information coming out of the Richmond Hill prison seem to indicate that it is being used increasingly to turn out more hardened criminals who on their return to society are prepared to unleash a reign of fear and terror.

Reports are circulating that the “feared one” from St. Patrick who is now back at the institution is having a field day in prison in terms of recruiting a number of other inmates to join his criminal outfit.

Fingers are pointing at the “feared one” and his band for the crime wave that hit the island over the Christmas holiday period.

And again, most of the perpetrators are young people. Why are they committing these crimes? Have we failed them as a society? What can be done to get them to change course?

THE NEW TODAY would like to see the Education programme at the prison expanded to help inculcate into inmates the importance of agriculture, tourism and agro-processing to national development.

With specific reference to tourism, the more academically inclined at the prison should be given pep talks from the key players in tourism such as Sir Royston Hopkin, the CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, and others on the importance of tourism to the economic and financial livelihood of the island.

We should target these inmates to go back into their cells and elsewhere on the prison compound to get the message across to other inmates who might be prepared to give them a good listening ear.

As a people, we need to find creative ways and to start thinking more and more outside of “the box” in order to make all and sundry know that tourism is a major player in Grenada’s economy.

Most of the same inmates have hundreds of family members employed in the tourism sector and depending on these jobs for their livelihood.

Another area to be reviewed is the Justice system whereby what could be considered as “light sentences” are handed down and before you know it these persons are released and back on the streets.

This should be looked at from a strategic standpoint in light of the negative publicity around the world from Social Media on the weekend happenings at La Sagesse.

Before ending, THE NEW TODAY join in congratulating Mr. Timothy Antoine on his appointment as the new Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

This newspaper wishes him well and look forward to his plans to take this important key monetary institution forward over the next five to ten years.

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