Steelpan to boost tourism, earn forex

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PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley says steelbands will be put to work to promote tourism in this country and to help earn desperately needed foreign currency, Newsday reports. He was speaking yesterday during the “Laventille 123- A Different Me” celebration of Laventille steelband Panorama 2016 winners held at Soogrim Trace, Laventille. Desperadoes came first in the large band, Laventille Serenaders came second in the small band category and Courts Sound Specialists placed third in the medium band category.

Rowley said the wins are a tremendous result and noting such achievements are taken for granted in this country. He expressed hope that the time will come when citizens realise how monumental these successes are.

He said the uniqueness of the steelpan has not yet been put to work for this country. He noted that the prices of oil and gas are not what they used to be and the Finance Minister does not have what he used to have and the country will therefore have to use everything available as a revenue earner. He said the steelband movement will be a part of this process. Rowley explained that when players go abroad and perform people will be interested and want to know where the instrument came from and this will encourage tourism.

Rowley reported that he chairs a sub-committee on tourism and wants to make a “quantum leap” in tourism stressing this cannot be done without the steelband movement. He said this is one of the things that can be used to attract tourists, declaring the country is “desperately in need” of avenues to get foreign currency.

“We are going to put the steelbands to work in the market places.

In Europe and in America,” he reported.

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