St. Lucia thanks Winehouse for publicity's impact

CASTRIES, St. Lucia (AP) -- St. Lucia's tourism chief is praising Amy Winehouse for bringing publicity to the Caribbean island.

Local media have closely covered the British singer's presence since she arrived in December, accusing her of everything from tossing a drink on a tourist to throwing up at a breakfast buffet.

But Tourism Minister Allen Chastanet says every picture shows Winehouse smiling or interacting with the locals, and the overall impact has been positive.

Chastanet told a TV station Thursday that the government sent her a gift basket of local products.

In a competitive world, he said, "any edge that you can get, you hang on to it."

Winehouse's rocky marriage and problems with drugs and police have been widely publicized.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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