The 55th Annual General Meeting of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) is set to convene on Friday 30th August 2019 at the Finance Administrative Centre, Pointe Seraphine at 9am under the theme:
  TOURISM: A Catalyst for the Sustainable Development of Communities and Commerce

Members are reminded that: “Copies of all Resolutions that members intend to propose must be sent to the Association no less than seven (7) business days before the date of the meeting at which the same are to be proposed and considered.”

Only members whose SLHTA’s membership dues are current and in good financial standing will be eligible to attend and vote for the respective Board of Director positions for the period 2019-2021. Membership dues must be paid in advance prior to the meeting in order to be eligible to vote. Please contact the SLHTA at 452-5978/ 453-1811 or [email protected] to confirm your attendance no later than Monday 26th August 2019. 

Members who have already registered are reminded to collect your pre-registration package containing your name tag and lanyard with a copy of your completed registration form at our office. You are required to wear your name tag at the meeting on Friday 30th August 2019 and this will allow you to move on straight to the Ballot Collection Desk rather than wait in queue to obtain your name tags and register on the day. Also, please walk with the copy of your completed registration form (placed in your package) which is a necessity to obtain your ballot for voting on the day.
The game-changers for the Caribbean Blue Economy
The Blue Economy – the sustainable use of oceans for economic growth – is finding its feet in the Caribbean. The region is taking steps towards a robust regional Blue Economy, with incremental policy change in several countries and ​locally developed technologies​ that are setting the stage for future growth. 
The change is slow but steady. New finance tools such as blue bonds – along with a growing pool of international environment funds – can bring much-needed capital and widen the pipeline for projects. But, hurdles remain. Ultimately, the success of the Blue Economy lies in the hands of regional policymakers and the public sector. So, who can the Caribbean look to as they map their own Blue Economy future? Who is making the best
case for the Blue Economy right now? 
Dr. Justin Ram, Director of Economics, Caribbean Development Bank who is also the guest speaker invited to present during the Open Session of the SLHTA AGM shares his thoughts.

I think there are a few countries that are doing some interesting work in the Blue Economy. First of all, Barbados, because they are perhaps the first country in the world to have a Ministry of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, so I think that’s a really bold statement of intent. The ministry is assiduously working to create a Blue Economy strategy, so they haven’t done many concrete things yet. But just having the ministry signals to the world that they are serious about it.
Collaboration is KEY to developing Tourism
The SLHTA CEO met with Deputy Head of the Project Management Development Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister to share a number of our best practices on Agri-Tourism linkages and Crime and Security interventions. The critical need for data driven development of tourism and the challenges with research and collections were hot topics.
The strategy for a more centralized approach to capturing tourism statistics was also flagged for discussion with SLHTA members at a future date. The work of the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund was shared and the SLHTA presented its thoughts on the importance of creating a more effective environment for ensuring that small businesses benefit from the tourism dollar. The meeting was inspired after representatives met at a previous meeting of the Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC) earlier this year. The TAC is Chaired by the Minister for Tourism and serves as an excellent platform for discussion of solutions to some of the major challenges facing our tourism industry.
The Ministry of Tourism has made significant headway in the establishment of a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA).
The Tourism Satellite Account is a standard statistical framework and the main tool for the economic measurement of tourism.

It provides credible data on the impact of tourism and associated employment, Saint Lucia’s balance of payments, information on tourism human resource characteristics, and is a powerful tool for designing economic policies related to tourism development.

Minister of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries, Hon. Dominic Fedee, explained the benefits for Saint Lucia. “The Tourism Satellite Account will significantly improve how we capture the impact of tourism: taxes that are paid to government revenue, revenue passed in the hotel sector, average daily rates in the hotel sector, jobs in the tourism sector, linkages in the tourism sector, and the dollar value,” he said. “So with the establishment of the tourism satellite account we can give a comprehensive overview of how tourism impacts the local economy; like what the real contribution of tourism is to economic fortunes, to economic development, and the role that tourism plays in the sustainable national economic development of our country.”
The implementation of the TSA is being fueled by the recognition that it will serve to increase, and improve knowledge of tourism’s importance relative to overall economic activity, assist in the development of more efficient tourism policies and employment, and create awareness among those involved in the tourism sector, including all industries involved in the production of goods and services demanded by visitors.

“We will make a presentation to the Cabinet. The template has been fairly advanced and this is being piloted by the Department of Statistics. When completed, it will allow us to make more informed policy decisions about tourism,” Minister Fedee said.
The TSA was developed by the World Tourism Organization the Organization for Economic Co-opération and Development (OECD), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the United Nations Statistics Division.
Data Driven Tourism Development
Recently, the Ministry of Tourism hosted a meeting with SLHTA members at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority to discuss the introduction of a Tourism Satellite Accounts system in Saint Lucia and its expected aims and objectives. Represented at the meeting were participants from SLHTA, the Project Management Development Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister and staff of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. 

The Tourism Satellite Account is expected to conduct a soft launch in September this year with the expectation of a full scale reporting system operational next year. 

Tourism Satellite Accounting is not a new concept. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development defines it as “a standard statistical framework and the main tool for the economic measurement of tourism.

It has been developed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) and the United Nations Statistics Division.”

While the TSA requires another layer of administrative attention, its importance and critical role in ensure data based decision making for the development of tourism, was appreciated by all in attendance.
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa Reduces Sargassum Influx by 85 Percent.
VIEUX FORT, Saint Lucia (22 nd August, 2019) – Saint Lucia’s Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa has experienced a reduction of Sargassum as much as 85% on its mile-long beach with the installation of a containment boom. The influx of Sargassum which has increased significantly since 2015 affecting beaches from the United States to the Caribbean and Mexico, and its more frequent arrival on the resort’s beach made the three-week process to set up the boom system, another crucial step in the effort to combat this natural phenomenon. This 4,400-foot boom system, floating 300 to 500 feet offshore, protects the length of the resort’s mile-long beach from this macro-algae carried in and on the ocean currents.

For more information call 758-459-6000 in Saint Lucia, toll-free from North America at 877-252-0304 or visit Follow @coconutbay on Facebook, @_coconutbay on Twitter and @cbay_stlucia on Instagram .  
Congratulatory Note on Joseph "Reds" Perreira

The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) congratulates acclaimed cricket commentator, Joseph “Reds” Perreira, who will be recognized by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for his sterling contribution to the game over the past six decades.

Perreira was informed of the honour via a letter dated 2 nd July 2019, and signed by CWI’s President, Ricky Skerritt, who wrote that, “CWI is indeed appreciative of your sterling contribution to the promotion of West Indies cricket and the development of cricket commentary in the region.”
Perreira’s live commentary of the upcoming Test Match at Sabina Park in Jamaica in the West Indies vs India 2019 Series will be his 150 th Test Match as a live commentator. A brief recognition ceremony will be held on the field on the third day of that match on 3 rd September 2019 for the famed commentator whose vast knowledge of the game has inspired many cricket commentators. 

CWI will also provide Perreira with a return Caribbean Airlines ticket from Saint Lucia (where he has resided for many years) to Jamaica, hotel accommodation at the Pegasus Hotel in Kingston and ground transportation to and from Norman Manley International Airport. Read this positive feature on "Reds" Perreira .

SLHTA TEF takes Tourism Linkages success to other sectors
The SLHTA TEF convened a meeting under the Chairmanship of Sanovnik Destang, Immediate Past President of the SLHTA. Committee members on the newly constituted committee include Ike Lauff of Mystique Royal St. Lucia Resort, Jonathan Allain of the Ministry of Commerce, SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Programme Manager, Donette Ismael and Deputy Chair of the Linkages Committee, Noorani Azeez. 

Key discussions focused on improving payments to farmers, consolidating transportation for small farmers interested in selling produce to the hotels, expansion of the committee to include manufacturers, expansion of the virtual agricultural clearing house, implications on a loan guarantee fund on the manufacturing sector and encouraging access to tourism markets by local furniture manufacturers. Exciting next steps also included the launch of the SLHTA / TEF’s Link Up programme which commences in October 2019 and allows small producers of fashion, arts, craft, agro processed items to share their offerings with visitors at hotels.

Castries, 22 nd August 2019 - Ease of access to the now trending and fun-filled Caribbean destination of Saint Lucia from the pivotal United Kingdom (UK) market has been significantly enhanced. 

Following high level discussions with government and tourism officials, premium carrier British Airways (BA) on Thursday, 22 nd August 2019, broke news of the introduction of two additional direct flights per week to Saint Lucia. Taking effect next summer, the no-tag flights will commence in 2020 and will run until 29 th August 2020. The flight offers 3 classes of service and will add an average of 600 additional seats weekly to facilitate travel to the island.

In responding to the news of the additional flights, Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet says, “We are elated with this latest development and the good fortune it spells for our continued efforts at growing visitor arrivals from the UK market.” He says “based on the 2019 Virgin Atlantic schedule with 3 weekly flights, we had a total of 798 seats. When taking the ‘tag factor’ into consideration, we actually had approximately 399 seats per week.”

Tourism Minister, Hon. Dominic Fedee says, “This bold decision by British Airways, with whom Saint Lucia has a long-standing mutually beneficial relationship, certainly helps in filling the void left by Virgin Atlantic and their proposed pullout come next year. This new arrangement means that with more than 600 additional seats weekly, we now benefit from a net gain during July and August of more than 200 seats.” Fedee says together with the additional flights, several other marketing initiatives are being explored as a means of imbuing added life into the British market.

The additional flights will bring British Airway’s scheduled direct service from London to Saint Lucia up from 7 to 9 flights weekly. Currently Saint Lucia is serviced by 14 direct BA flights that interconnect between London, Trinidad and Grenada. 

About the SLHTA's Champions Cup: SLHTA / TEF started this initiative in an effort to encourage health and wellness among its member employees, and an opportunity for them to meet and network, hence the reason for the “SLHTA’s Champions Cup”.

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