The newly appointed board of directors at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority has sought to refocus the hospitality offering as the market reopens in the wake of Covid-19.
The move follows the appointment of Ernest Hilaire as tourism minister earlier this year.
Under the new plans, the destination will focus on culture, heritage and history.
It is hoped the new strategy will put the people of Saint Lucia front-and-centre of the tourism offering.
The public can expect to see more of these components in the marketing plan, especially looking at linkages to ensure that the economic benefits of tourism include craftsmen, artisans, farmers and other local establishments.
Appointed by Hilaire, the board of directors reflects a balanced group of individuals with skill sets in the fields of law, entrepreneurship, marketing, hospitality, business management, community development, events and accommodations management.
The board is chaired by Thaddeus Antoine, attorney at law, and serving as the deputy chairperson is Grace Parkinson, chief operating officer at the Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority SLASPA and chair of the Maritime Tourism Committee.
Supporting directors are: Paul Collymore, president of the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association and chair of the airlift committee; Thomas Leonce, president of the Vacation Rentals Association and chair of the marketing committee; Ernest Augier, president of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation and chair of the finance committee; Savvy Gajadhar, entrepreneur; Jeanine Henry, senior manager in the field of finance and securities; and Donalyn Vittet, permanent secretary in the ministry of tourism.
Antoine said: “Saint Lucia Tourism Authority will endeavour to keep improving the overall tide of tourism, creating development opportunities while also stimulating sustainable and inclusive growth opportunities, especially for our Saint Lucian people who are desirous of growing within the industry.
“In the coming weeks, the authority will launch an awareness program intended to showcase the value of the tourism industry locally and multiply our touchpoints to ensure an all-encompassing program.”
Enacted in 2017 and serving as a statutory arm of the government of Saint Lucia, some of the core roles of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority are to operate as the lead marketing agency, positioning the island in traditional markets while keeping focus on emerging markets and new opportunities.
Additionally, the authority is tasked to carry out informative market research, facilitate business opportunities and linkages between tourism and other sectors of the economy, identify and facilitate training and capacity building needs for the tourism industry.
There is also a role to encourage the establishment and enhancement of amenities, facilities and destination services appropriate for engagement of the brand promise of the destination.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is one of the first points of contact for travellers to Saint Lucia.
The organisation markets the destination through targeted campaigns internationally, to showcase Saint Lucia on a global scale.
Under the leadership of Hilaire, Saint Lucia was recently recognised as Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination by voters at the World Travel Awards, while there has been an uptick in demand for travel to the island.
Take a look below as Breaking Travel News chats with the new minister of tourism from Saint Lucia, Ernest Hilaire: