PM Mitchell celebrates Spice Island Beach Resort’s Six Star Diamond Award

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 9: 44PM - George's, Grenada
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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, May 28, 2014 – GIS: The following is an address from Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith C. Mitchell at the Six Star Diamond Award for Spice Island Beach Resort, held at the Resort on May 27, 2014.

Fellow Grenadians, friends, well-wishers, all…Good evening

It is not often that one has the pleasure of celebrating such auspicious occasions while standing on six-star ground.

Today’s occasion is one, which elicits the pride and joy of every Grenadian, friend of Grenada, and well-wisher. To be able to watch in humble amazement as one of our most diligent workers achieves such a pinnacle in his career as a hotelier, is a feat in itself, but to know that his success today represents the success and aspirations of a nation, is pure gratification.

Sir Royston and Lady Hopkin—as Prime Minister of this beautiful land—I congratulate you on blazing the trail and leaving a path that hopefully others will follow.

I congratulate you on taking our nation along on this world-class ride with you. Your success is our success because your brand will continue to pour into the economy by boosting our tourism industry and by serving as an inspiration to prospective investors.

As a friend, I am extremely happy for, and proud of you. We all know Sir Royston, the hotel genius, but not many know Sir Royston, the man. Not many know your heart. I have had the pleasure of being able to call you a friend for a while now, and I continue to be impressed not just by your business acumen, but by your graciousness, your humility, and your selflessness in service to your nation.

You continue to stay ahead of the competition. Even in these tough economic times, you continue to reinvent the way you do business, and the success of your innovation is manifested here today, with the achievement of this Six Star Diamond Award.

More impressively, not only do you stay ahead of the competition, but you thrive on it. You encourage it. Businessmen like you who make it their hallmark to reach back and encourage those behind are inspirations for the way we ought to live our lives.

The pie is certainly big enough for everyone to have a slice. There is vast potential for investment in the hospitality sector in this part of the world, for obvious reasons. Therefore when foreign or local investors are witnesses to successes such as yours today, they can only be heartened and inspired.
Permit me then to use you as a model to encourage other investors to take the plunge. Grenada is open for business. Grenada has the capacity to support successful businesses.

In the last year, we have attracted a number of investors, and there are currently several hotel projects in the pipeline by foreign investors who have fallen in love with our island, and have seen the tremendous prospects in that industry. But even while we look to foreign investors for their business, Government is committed to fostering a climate that spurs the proliferation of new and existing ventures.

Our citizens recognize that our country has been reeling from the effects of these difficult economic times. We have been faced with high debt, high unemployment, and low growth. We cannot negate that fact. What we can do, and have done, is seek assistance to develop our own programme to get us on a path to fiscal sustainability. We have solicited the help of the IMF and other international and regional organizations, and they have accepted.

But, sisters and brothers, the road to recovery is arduous, and we implore your sacrifice and your patience. Our Homegrown programme calls for three years of tough sacrifices.

We are all feeling the pain, and no one enjoys this—least of all, me. I have stated countless times before, if we were provided a viable alternative to the austerity measures that we have undertaken, I would have been the first to embrace it. As it stands, this is the best way forward. But, my friends, it is imperative to remember that these measures are temporary.

We expect to see a significant turnaround in the economic climate within the time frame instituted for the programme.

As this happens and our economy is on the rise, the resources that we will start receiving shortly will be channeled into cultivating an atmosphere for local investment; for the propagation of small and medium sized businesses; in providing sectoral support that will create jobs for our citizens; and in helping to salvage some of the present staggering enterprises.

In the meantime, with the limited resources that we have, we are promoting skills training opportunities for many of our young people, to prepare them for the opportunities that are to come.

It has been said that success is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. We are therefore preparing our people and our country for the opportunities that will lead to our country’s economic success.

While we cannot accurately predict what our fiscal outlook will be in three years, we are optimistic that it will be much better than what we are currently facing. While we cannot commit to the removal of all the present sacrifices after the three years, we are certain that we will revisit and make adjustments that will ease the burden on many of our citizens who are laboring under the weight of the many challenges we now face.

My friends, we expect that we will emerge out of the darkness, and when we do so, the successes of Sir Royston and others will be the beacons that we look to in order to inform our direction in various sectors of our country.

Therefore, I say to all the other hoteliers and aspiring business people, there is every reason to be hopeful. There is every reason to expect returns on your investment.

Sir Royston understood that, and as such, even in light of the present economic limitations on a national level, he has stepped up his game. More remarkably, he did not look to government because he knows that the resources are scarce and the needs are many. He embarked on his own path, and it is yielding dividends.
Therefore, my dear sisters and brothers, I want to once again congratulate him and his staff for being bold, ingenious, considerate and altruistic.

Because of their efforts and vision, Grenada can now boast of being home to at least two world class hotels.

We recently saw the opening of the six-star Sandals brand right here, and we watched as Sir Royston embraced and encouraged the competition. Now that he and his team have achieved the coveted six stars, we can rest assured that he would not stop there. The sky is the limit for his brilliance.

I want to say to all other promising investors and hopefuls today—the sky is also your limit. In partnership, Government will do what we can to light your path and to provide a brighter day for all.

So, to the management and staff of the Spice Island Beach Resort, as Prime Minister and as a friend to your establishment, I say, “a job extremely well done” on this magnificent feat. Continue to blaze the trail and continue to pursue excellence in service.

Our nation’s future will be guided by the stars.




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