Faithful Nationals wants dialogue with A&B government

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Among the agenda items for a meeting with members of the Faithful Nationals and Concerned Citizens is a request for dialogue with the Antiguan and Barbudan government.

 That is according to a member of the Faithful Nationals group, Alister Thomas, who made the disclosure on OBSERVER AM.

Thomas said that the executive committee of the Faithful Nationals planned to meet yesterday to discuss the Global Ports Agreement and its implications for the cruise tourism industry.

“The organising committee of the Concerned Citizens and Faithful Nationals will be meeting and one of the things on the table is the question of engaging the government because we [want to rescue] our cruise industry. So I am hoping part of the strategy going forward is to try to get a dialogue with the government and to make them recognize this is a crisis that they have created,” Thomas said.

On Sunday, The Faithful Nationals and Concerned Citizens group organised a whistle-stop to continue sharing concerns about the Global Ports agreement with the government, the e-Book controversy, the issue of the release of inmates and their subsequent re-imprisonment, among several other issues of national interest.

Thomas also addressed criticism raised against the cruise industry, that it was less concerned with the development of the Antigua tourism product and more with making money.

However, he said, the cruise industry has exploited the Caribbean region for its short-sighted and competitive marketing strategy.

“The truth is the Caribbean region is one of the most lucrative regions for the cruise industry. What happened is the cruise industry has exploited the competitive insularity of each island,” he said.

He also accused Antigua and Barbuda of failing to develop its entertainment and land-based product in order to make the destination more attractive for cruise passengers.

“I think we, as the individual country, have failed to develop our entertainment and land-based products. Many of us produce suggestions but it seems we have failed in that regard. Our land-based entertainment for cruise passengers when they disembark leaves so much to be desired,” he said.

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