Opposition Senator Damani Tabor said the United Progressive Party (UPP) will continue to mount pressure on the government until its call for Tourism Minister Asot Michael to be removed is met.
Government’s Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst indicated to Antigua News Room (ANR) yesterday that the opposition’s call was “foolish”.
However, while not going into details about what the party will do if Michael fails to step aside, Tabor said mounting pickets and other legal measures will be explored at the appropriate time.
But for now, Tabor said public sensitization on the failures of the government and the tourism minster is a great tool to expose their inefficiency, adding that this has been very effective to date.
“The UPP’s position in the event that Asot Michael does not comply, [is] that we will continue the same level of advocacy and public castigation that we have been embarking upon since March when we registered a 20 per cent decline in the US market,” Tabor noted.
“So in the event that Asot Michael does not comply to the extent that the UPP continues to publish the official Caribbean Tourism Association numbers and sensitize them (the public) on the factors at play, which are destroying the arrivals in the sector; ultimately the government will have no choice but to have Asot Michael replaced.”
Tabor was critical of Minister Michael for employing individuals whom, he said, “do not understand the market”, and for expanding the staff complement in the New York and Canadian offices with persons who did not bring any value to the position.
The UPP Senator also spoke of the massive cutbacks in airlift out of Antigua and Barbuda with United Airlines going from 11 flights weekly to “three and four”.
He said since the three-year tenure of the Gaston Browne administration, not one new hotel has been commissioned.
Tabor said based on declining tourism numbers, the UPP is confident that Michael will not survive into the next administration.