Tourism stakeholders urged to renew their license for the 2022/23 cruise season

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Stakeholders in the tourism industry have been encouraged to get their companies “tourism approved” in time for the cruise season which opened on November 2.

This request was made by the Ministry of Tourism during a press conference on Monday October 31 which aimed to inform the public about the start of the cruise season and the measures that will be put in place to deal with the increase. tourist arrivals.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Quality Assurance Manager, Nathalie Shortte explained that the license period for all stakeholders is from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022 , so all licenses expired on October 31.
Shortte, who is responsible for licensing taxi operators, tour operators, tour guides and people working in accommodation or short-term vehicle rentals, said anyone within of these five stakeholder groups operating a business must be “tourism approved” under the law.

She explained that the registration requirement for taxi drivers is: valid vehicle registration, driver’s license, first aid and CPR certificates; and for new operators: a criminal record.

Upon successful completion of the training and assessment, the application will be submitted to a board of directors for approval, Shortte said.

The QA manager added that once approved, a pink sticker will be issued to the applicant as a means of identification that the driver is licensed to operate at the cruise ship berth as a taxi operator. .

The color of the sticker changes every year because it is therefore only valid for one year.

The SVGTA official stressed that a taxi driver without the pink sticker will not be allowed to work at the cruise ship terminal, while confirming that the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police will work with the ‘Authority to ensure compliance.

Shortte added that the tourism industry is happy to accommodate responders who have not renewed their licenses during the pandemic.

“We have a lot of calls. For people who haven’t renewed their license and haven’t come in the last two years, to be inspected, to be cleared.
Your Red Cross certificates would have expired, we encourage you to go get your Red Cross certificates updated and still come and get your operating license” for the new cruise season.

The licensing renewal process for stakeholders typically takes place within two months; but for taxis in particular, the start of inspection for license renewal began in September this year, and with the cooperation of the police, this session took place over a period of three weeks, from Monday to Friday.

Shortte said: “I’m happy to say that out of those 265 or so [taxi drivers] which we currently have licensed for 2021-2022 – I can happily say we have that 100%.”

Tourism Minister Carlos James reiterated the importance of accredited speakers and said visitors very often praise SVG’s taxi operators for the quality of their service and knowledge of the country.

The minister said having one of the ‘Tourism Approved’ stickers means you have completed the training and are equipped and ready for the upcoming season.

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