Thursday 1st February, 2018 – Former Prime Minister and National Hero, Sir Lester Bird opened debate this morning on the 2018 Budget, presented by Prime Minister Gaston Browne on one week ago today (Thursday), calling for greater emphasis to be placed on tourism.
After 43 years in politics, today marked Mr. Bird’s final debate on a budget in the House of Representatives.
Sir Lester in endorsing the budget, credited the government for capturing the vision for a modern Antigua and Barbuda, saying the prime minister was well on the way to achieving the goal of enriching the lives of Antiguans and Barbudans despite numerous obstacles.
Reflecting on the hardships the world endured following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the Rural East MP recalled the dark days that were predicted for tourism industries worldwide, but despite the bleak predictions, Sir Lester says there was an upsurge in the sector.
Sir Lester, a former minister of tourism views the sector as an integral component to the government’s quest of transforming the country into an economic powerhouse and is cautioning against any attempts to abandon the sector.
Mr. Bird advised that a good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed later. He told the House of Representatives that the country’s economical survival is linked to tourism. He however revealed that while our future survival is dependent on tourism, mass tourism should be avoided.