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Better Visitor Access Key To Long Island's Growth

BY NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

IMPROVING visitor access to Long Island is the easiest way to boost the island's economy, a local businessman saying: "I think it all boils down to convenience'.

Luke Maillis, manager of Real Addictive Charters, told the Long Island Business Outlook conference that making it easier for visitors to get to Long Island would quickly boost the island.

"I think it boils down to convenience; the convenience of getting people here and the convenience for people residing here," he said.

"There is no city water, basically, on most parts of the island. This lack of convenience for people wanting to reside is discouraging. Simply having more people residing on the island creates an economy within itself."

Omar Daley, a local businessman and a presenter at the Outlook, added: "We don't have things on the island to bring them back. If we have 100 kids graduated for this island, 80 leave. We have a dying island. Just from the hurricane to now I think we lost about 1,000 persons."

Mr Maillis said an international airport on Long island could present the means to boost the island's economy. "I see a lot of potential for tourism in Long Island; it just needs the means and the vision," he added.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a feasibility study for upgrades to Long Island's main airport.

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