More UK cash for Enterprise St Helena tourism drive

Extra public funding may be needed to turn St Helena’s tourism plans into reality, aid advisers have acknowledged.

The new Enterprise St Helena organisation has made encouraging progress, says the report on the February 2013 Development Assistance Planning Mission (DAPM).

More finance from the UK is being considered for the agency when existing funding ends in March 2013, it reveals.

“DAPM agreed that a new project to support ESH would be developed and put to DFID senior managers for approval,” it says.

Ongoing funding is also included in St Helena Government’s 2013/14 budget.

The aide memoire on the advisers’ visit says Enterprise St Helena has established a solid base for advancing the island’s economic aims.

Visits to the island by speculators and advisers from the Mantis, Protea and Pam Golding tourist groups, and a profile-raising event in Cape Town, had been positive, it says.

But they showed that “enabling tourism development may require further public funding.”

Other economic activities, such as commercial fishing, also offer large potential benefits, says the report.

“We also recognise that efforts to improve the supply of skilled construction workers would help ease a constraint to investment in property and tourism,” it says – acknowledging a bottleneck caused because there are too few builders and craftsmen on the island to cope with the amount of work emerging.

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