NEW YORK, Feb 11, CMC – Howie Prince, is the Consul General of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines diplomatic office in the’ United States.
Celia Ross, who shares the building with him is the United States Director of Sales and Marketing at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority.
Both are ecstatic that on Valentine Day, they will be among several passengers making an historic and romantic journey back to their homeland. Only this time, instead of having to ensure several stopovers, they will be flying directly to the newly built Argyle International Airport (AIA).
“First of all, it’s the fulfilment of many years of wishful things,” Prince told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), adding “we can now boast of an international airport, where we can move people and goods and services to bolster our development.
“It’s an historic moment. Those of us landing on Valentine’s Day, it’s both very exciting, and, at the same time, a great prospect from the standpoint of having seamless travel. And to have seamless travel, it’s the fulfilment of many dreams.
“With the ground-breaking for hotel development, tourism should take off, agricultural development should take off, and we can see the return of the brain power. The development of the airport can help in our economic development.”
The international airport was built with a tag price of EC$700 (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) and is considered a major political achievement of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) and Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in particular, who had come under intense criticism at home over the project, which is six years behind schedule.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is among those expected to attend and address the ceremonial opening of the facility on February 14.
Venezuela and Cuba were among those countries that helped Gonsalves fulfil his dream of building an international airport in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Ross, whose office space is shared with the Consulate General, said that, as the tourism representative for many years, the AIA is “definitely a most welcome addition to all the good things the destination has to offer.
“For many years, I have listened to travel agents and consumers talk about the beauty of the destination and, at the same time, lament the difficulty in getting there because of inadequate airlift. We expect AIA will boost our tourism industry, bringing many more visitors to our shores.
“In addition to boosting tourism, the international airport will improve the performance of other critical sectors, like agriculture and fisheries.
“To everyone joining us on the Caribbean Airlines charter on February 14, I welcome the opportunity to be with you on this very historic flight, when one lucky person will have the opportunity to win an exciting package for two at the Bequia Beach Hotel on Bequia,” she added.
The chartered flights on Caribbean Airlines and Dynamics Airline will leave New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, on February 14, for AIA, returning on February21.
Lennox Joslyn – chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the Brooklyn-based umbrella Vincentian group in the United States, Council of St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Organizations, U.S.A., Inc. (COSAGO) – said he can’t wait to land at AIA.
“It’s an historic flight, and I can’t miss this for the world. I think it’s a significant milestone for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and all Vincentians should embrace it, as we move forward.