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Monday, April 03, 2006 

Tourism ministers: Caribbean should lease land


Sunday 2nd April, 2006 Posted: 23:10 CIT (04:10 +1 GMT)

ROUSEAU, Dominica (AP) – Caribbean countries should lease land to foreign investors, rather than sell it, as a way to keep tourism dollars in the region, officials said Friday.

Regional planners should follow the example set by the British territory of Anguilla, where about 90 percent of the land is owned by residents, said Harold Lovell, Antigua’s tourism minister.
"Governments should adopt a policy of leasing rather than selling land as a means of deriving greater benefits from the tourism industry," Lovell said.

Lovell, head of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Council of Tourism Ministers, and Caribbean tourism ministers met in Dominica for two days to discuss regional issues. They intend to recommend to their governments that they follow Anguilla’s lead.

In the Caribbean, most land was owned by foreigners, such as those who owned plantations when many of the countries were colonies, said Kendal Morgan, an OECS spokesman.
"The main intention is for the land to remain for the people, with the other purpose being a bigger share of the tourism dollars coming to nationals," Morgan said.

Copyright © 2004,2005 Cayman Free Press Ltd

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