Dr. Didacus Jules Message
OECSBusinessFocus Jan / Mar |
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BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Issue date: November, 2016
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BusinessFocus Dec| Fax: 1 / Jan (758)| 456 2 6720 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 1 (758) 456 6000
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29. SLHTA - Celebrating 50 Years 34. Our Board of Directors 35. A History of SLHTA 36. Presidents Past & Present 42. A Tribute to Eileen Paul 44. Executive Directors over the Years 46. The People at the SLHTA 47. Chef’s Table – An Inspirational Approach to Leadership & Information Sharing 48. Gearing Up For The Next 50 50. SLHTA Partners With Nagico & Launches Group Insurance Program 51. VACH Building Linkages with Agriculture and Tourism 52. ‘Chefs in Schools’ Gives Students Hands-On Opportunity 54. Honorary Members 56. SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund 58. Training Programs Designed for Industry Demand 60. The Story Behind Splash Island Water Park Saint Lucia 62. The SLHTA and Government: An Important Partnership for the Success of our Tourism Industry 63. Tourism Open Doors to Opportunity for Service Providers 64. Saint Lucia: Land of Awards & Accolades 65. SLHTA Encourages Policymakers to Pass Plastic Waste Legislation 66. The Rise of the Sharing Economy 67. Hidden Gems of Saint. Lucia 68. Green in Tourism 69. Social Media Marketing for Today’s Tourism Business 70. Caribbean Hotelier Receives ICABA Pinnacle Award
4. Editor’s Note 6. Business Briefs 8.
The Board’s Cultural Imperative: Ensuring An Ethical Organization
Business Tech 10. When Sustainability Meets Human Resources 12. Do An Education Background Check To Avoid Regret 14. Digicel Business Shortlisted For ‘Best Caribbean Wholesaler’ In The Global Carrier Awards 2016 16. KPI’s - The Measure of Success 17. 5 Business Technology Predictions for 2017 18. Fingerprints Dominate the Future of Passwords 20. Business Plan - A Must Have? 22. The Benefits of HR Technology
76. Bay Gardens Resorts Redefines the All
78. Hylyne Poultry Farm Ltd: A Leader in St. Lucia’s Poultry Industry 80. Must Reads
Enviromental Focus 82. Grenada A Leader in ‘Blue Economy’ 85. FDL Pest Control Solutions Trapping Mosquitos Island Wide 86. Singapore-born Manatees Thriving in Caribbean 88. Matthew Aftermath: PM says Better Preparation Needed
Youth In Focus 89. 90.
A Clarion Call for Entrepreneurship as a Drive of Caribbean Economic Growth St. Lucian Designer Takes Her Totes to the Top
Money Matters 24. CDB Urges St. Lucia to Implement Fiscal Reform 26. Bitcoin Exchange, Caricoin Interested in Jamaica 28. Building Bridges for Better Caribbean Business in Trump Era
In The Know 94. Brazilian Business Mission Set for St. Lucia 94. St. Lucia Encourages ‘Open Skies’ Policy 95 IMHO: The Culture of Heritage 96. Storytelling in Health Care 97. How to Start Healing After a Tragedy
Tourism Focus 72. Top Commonwealth & Tourism Honours For
Heroic Sandals Life Guard
74. SLTB Successful London Showcase 75. Tourism Conference Explores Tech Tool
98. Glaucoma…The Silent Thief of Sight 99. Events 2016 100. Major Moves 102. NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS 104. ADVERTISERS INDEX
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
SLHTA – 50 Years of Developing and Promoting Tourism! For most of us 50 Years is a lifetime in any organization. The fact that the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) has survived and thrived over the past 50 Years merits a major celebration and we at AMS are indeed happy to dedicate the Special Feature in this issue to the SLHTA. We salute all those who have served as the Captains of our Tourism industry under the umbrella of the SLHTA and taking the organization on this great journey. Today, the SLHTA is recognized as “the Voice of the Hospitality Industry” having taken its rightful place alongside the Government and fulfilling its mandate of representing its membership and partnering with all stakeholders for the long term benefit and positive development of the industry.
Lokesh Singh Editor / Managing Director
Over the years, like all organisations, the SLHTA has faced its challenges and has survived difficult times. Thankfully, with dedicated leadership and a belief in the sector, the SLHTA has survived and continues to evolve based on the rapid growth of the tourism sector. Today, Tourism is positioned as the single most important industry and the single largest sector of our economy. The expansion of the industry has driven the SLHTA to expand its range of services with its membership not only including hotels but an ever increasing number of subsectors and suppliers to the industry. Thankfully, the SLHTA was able to attract quality Leadership who continue to chart its course with many new and innovative ideas. In this regard we salute two former female SLHTA Presidents in the persons of Berthia Parle and Karolin Troubetzkoy who have progressed to serve as Presidents of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourist Association. We wish the SLHTA many more solid years of industry leadership and support and hope that you will enjoy this Special Feature. We also hope that you will enjoy reading the many other articles which are meant to educate and inform on the many issues that we all face as we manage our businesses. As we close the year 2016, on behalf of the entire staff of AMS, we wish to thank you all for your support during the year and to offer our sincere best wishes for the Holiday Season.
BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Editor / Managing Director: Lokesh Singh email@example.com Graphic Designer: Tannel George | Carlisle Searles Editor’s
Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - firstname.lastname@example.org Cleopatra Jules - email@example.com Hudson Myers Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Ashley Anzie | Jamaica Observer Le Sport | NRDF | LUCELEC | Trinidad Guardian Invest Saint Lucia | Du Boulay’s Bottling Co Ltd. Caribbean News Now | Caribbean Business Report Contributors: Lokesh Singh | Dr Chris Bart | Sarah Munn Alex Holder | Oliver Bottois | Hanna Fitz Samuel Rosenberg | Lyndell Halliday Dr Takira Glasgow | Brian Ramsey | Dr. Sharon Didier Kezia Preville | Trudy O Glasgow | Trinidad Guardian Michel Outridge | Dr Basil Springer | Carib-Export Sir Richard Branson | Invest Saint Lucia | Ravin Singh Kezia Preville | Perry Longville | McPherse Thompson Kerry Cannon | David Jessop | A. L. Dawn French Dr. Tanya Destang-Beaubrun | Audrey Tan | Glad Taylor The Irish Times | The Financial Times | St. Lucia Times Jamaica Observer | Barbados Nation | News America Caribbean News Now | Caribbean Business Report The Gleaner | St. Lucia News Online | Caribbean 360 Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290 email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.amsstlucia.com, www.stluciafocus.com Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialized fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright.Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication.
2017 will be a year of new challenges and we will all be required to deliver our best efforts if we are to enjoy continued growth and success with our business initiatives. We wish you every success in your endeavours and look forward to our continued collaboration. Happy Reading!
On The Cover: SLHTA - Celebrating 50 Years
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Communication Tools SMS
Benefits of Collaboration
Mobile Device Desktop Sharing
Unified Communications (UC)
Unified Communications (UC) uses the network as a platform to coordinate communication tools and channels such as the office phone, laptops and tablets, with services such as email and interactive calendaring UC allows greater collaboration in the workforce as information can be shared easily as users have a variety of methods at their disposal.
Digicel Cost Savings
Changing the Voice of your Business: Unified Communications and Collaboration
The State of Business Communication
Traditionally, communications within a business was limited to face-to –face meetings and telephone calls. Today, millions of device and service are transforming the way our businesses communicate. The growing popularity of communication tools such as email, text messaging, instant messaging, videoconferencing and desktop sharing have revolutionized the voice of today’s business, erasing the boundaries that previously existed between each channel. Now our cellular phones do the work of several devicesgiving you access to your email, wherever you are, while allowing you to schedule meetings with co-workers on a shared calendar, make a videoconference call and send broadcast messages using instant-messenger apps. This is done through Unified Communications (UC), a solution that integrates various communication channels so that information is easily shared across the corporate network.
How does it work?
UC uses the network as a platform to coordinate devices such as the office phone, laptops and tablets, with services such as email and interactive calendaring. With this level of integration, employees are able to communicate using voice, email and other mixed media from one mailbox, regardless of the access device being used.
Contact Digicel Business today for further details at 758 724 6001 or at email@example.com
Why use Unified Communications?
Aside from integrating disparate communication channels within the business, UC also provides service consolidation, eliminating the need to have multiple providers to fulfill the communication needs of your business. According to Pre Sales Executive at Digicel Business, Selwyn Adams, “With the economic pinch being faced by many organizations, businesses and government entities have to be making the most of the fewer resources while finding ways to serve their customers better and improve collaboration. within the workforce, This forces them to find creative ways to facilitate the growing trend of mobility and respond to the demands of their customer while gaining competitive advantage and cutting costs. A Unified Communications solution can help them to achieve this and give them greater power of collaboration.” Digicel Business has had tremendous success in designing, commissioning and maintaining a number of Unified Communication Solutions with companies such as St Lucia Electricity Services (LUCELEC) and the East Caribbean Financial Holding (ECFH)
Michael Schrage, a research fellow at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business defines collaboration as “a process of value creation that our traditional structures of communication and teamwork can’t achieve” Collaboration refers to employees being able to share information with ease across a consolidated communication platform. BusinessFocus Dec /Jan | 5
BUSINESS BRIEFS St. Lucia reaps benefits from OECS yachting initiatives
limited to clinical work – covered fields include health information systems, administration, biomedical engineering and first response.
Business Briefs 2017 St. Lucia Business Awards launched
There are currently four members of staff from St. Jude Hospital in Taiwan undergoing training – Physician Dr. Sylvestre Francois, Charge Nurse Kathleen Albert, Health Information Manager Margaret Samuel and Biomedical Engineer Kevin Didier.
The Saint Lucia Tourist Board recently revealed encouraging yachting statistics for 2016. Compared with the same period in 2015, St. Lucia has seen 28.8-percent growth in yachting arrivals from January to June of this year. There were 29,101 yacht arrivals recorded at the Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay marinas during that six-month period this year.
Recently, the group visited the Embassy of St. Lucia in Taipei, along with other officials, to discuss the ongoing training and talk about opportunities for further collaboration between Changhua Christian Hospital and St. Jude Hospital.
Latin America, Caribbean highly vulnerable to cyberattacks, expert warns
St. Lucia’s representative on the OECS yachting committee, Cuthbert Didier, attributes this increase to a combination of factors, but says it is mainly a result of the country’s participation as part of an OECS presence at major boat shows such as the Annapolis Boat Show, the Toronto International Boat Show and the Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show.
Changhua Christian Hospital continues to train St. Lucian medical personnel
Changhua Christian Hospital in central Taiwan has long been offering training to medical personnel from St. Lucia, particularly to staff from St. Jude Hospital. The hospital’s training offerings are not BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture has launched the 2017 St. Lucia Business Awards, scheduled for January 28, 2017. Next year will mark the eighth anniversary of the award ceremony, which celebrates business excellence in St. Lucia. Hosted by the Business Awards Committee, the event is set to be the grand finale of Nobel Laureate Week. Business Awards Committee member Christian Husbands says the goal of the awards continues to be rewarding and celebrating top performing companies within St. Lucia’s private sector. Submissions for the awards can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or called in to 452-3165.
Deloitte’s Global Chief Information Officer, Larry Quinlan, says despite increased technological improvements in Latin America and the Caribbean, the regions remain highly vulnerable to cyberattacks. “[There] is a concern that [the threat] will continue to grow worldwide and threatens to engulf us in developing countries if we’re not careful,” Quinlan said. He referred to the 2016 Cyber Security Report produced by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Organization of American States. Quinlan warned that cybercrime is now far more sophisticated and attackers target both businesses and governments. He said four out of five countries in the regions lack a cybersecurity strategy.
Sandals Foundation takes part in International Coastal Cleanup Day
In an effort to clean up Grande Anse beach, the Sandals Foundation recently partnered with the Caribbean Youth Environmental Network, the Babonneau Youth Synergy Group and the Ianola Project for International Coastal Cleanup Day.
BUSINESS BRIEFS St. Lucia, France sign judicial agreements
Grande Anse, a difficult-to-access beach on the north eastern coast of the island, is ecologically vital for turtle and iguana nesting. More than 50 volunteers participated, collecting 20 bags of garbage along the shores. The Sandals Foundation also organised coastal cleanups in Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica and Turks & Caicos. Among other efforts, the foundation will continue to build environmental awareness among school children.
St. Lucia Yacht Club partners with Digicel
St. Lucia and France have signed two agreements intended to aid both countries in criminal matters and prevent acts of terrorism. The documents, the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement in Criminal Matters and the Extradition Agreement, were signed by the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, the Honourable Allen Chastanet and the Ambassador of France, Eric de la Moussaye.
scientist Dr. Gillian Bowser. Bowser is leading a three-country travelling program to promote ways ordinary “citizen scientists” can help observe and promote awareness of climate change in their communities. The program travels to St. Lucia, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On her visit to St. Lucia, Bowser met with science students from Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and took them on an outdoor excursion to collect plant and insect specimens. She also hosted a technical workshop at Pigeon Island for members of the community who are heavily involved in the environment.
UK’s Drewtons Estate gets taste of St. Lucia
The two agreements provide that the countries grant each other extradition and legal assistance in key areas such as appearance of witnesses, searches, seizures and forfeitures. The agreements are a result of the fifth session of the Joint Security Committee between the countries, which was convened on March 25, 2014.
Digicel will sponsor the annual Mango Bowl Regatta for the next three years. Regatta Director Lily Bergasse said in light of this new sponsorship, the sailing event has been rechristened the Digicel Mango Bowl Regatta.
US embassy hosts Eastern Caribbean citizen science program
Together, the three collaborating groups organised a St. Lucian-themed dinner and a product exhibition, complete with sampling. Their goal was to use these events to explore new avenues for expanding the scope of St. Lucian exports to the UK, and to bring together potential buyers, Drewton’s customers and TEPA officials and suppliers.
Put together by the St. Lucia Yacht Club and the St. Lucia Sailing Association, the event, now in its fifth year, is scheduled for November 25-27. The regatta committee is looking forward to a fantastic event, expecting participation from 25-30 local and regional yachts and sponsorship from heavyweights such as IGY Marinas and Dive Saint Lucia, as well as first-time supporter, Saint Lucia Distillers.
Lucky guests at Drewton’s Estate and Farm Shop in South Cave, England recently got a taste of St. Lucia, thanks to the Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA) and the British-Caribbean Chamber of Commerce Saint Lucia.
The US Embassy to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is hosting Colorado State University research
Among others in attendance were TEPA CEO Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood and Albert Fregis, Charge d’Affaires, High Commission of Saint Lucia.
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
The Board’s Cultural Imperative: Ensuring An Ethical Organization
The Board’s Cultural Imperative: Ensuring An Ethical Organization By Dr. Chris Bart, F.C.P.A. Chairman, The Caribbean Governance Training Institute
he word “ethics” is widely used – and misunderstood – by most boards. Yet, “ethics” are incredibly important. They define moral principles and rules of conduct. As such, they define “good” versus “bad” behaviour. Accordingly, ethics has quickly become one of the top five topics facing corporations today. And with good reason. The bad behaviour of corporations and the senior managers who lead them has produced some remarkably shameful examples of just how far their moral compass has gone astray – and not just in a few instances. Think WorldCom, Enron, Hewlett Packard, Lehman Brothers, Siemens, Wells Fargo. The list goes on. The result of these scandals has been an unprecedented decline in the trust and respect that society gives to its once revered corporate institutions. For instance, according to the Edelman Annual Trust Barometer, only 50% of participants surveyed in 23 countries think CEOs are credible sources of information. Only 53% think financial/
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
industry analysts are credible sources of information. And 94% do not believe information is trustworthy unless it comes from multiple independent sources. In another major study by ethics guru John Della Costa, it has been reported that 8 out of 10 Canadians perceive a steep decline in their trust of corporations and 40% of employees report having witnessed ethics transgressions of varying magnitude. Promoting and restoring an ethical work environment, therefore, is ultimately about trust. Because without trust, no one can rely on the words or promises of others. Moreover, the costs to the organization to compensate for the trust deficit can easily become extraordinary with demands for stricter and higher regulatory compliance, slower decision processes, “over” diligence and even brand equity erosion. Ultimately, customers rarely will buy the products or services of companies they don’t trust. And winning back a customer you have lost is often nearly impossible.
Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognized global governance authority and cofounder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. The institute is the first to offer throughout the Caribbean an intensive three-day governance training program leading to the prestigious and internationally recognized Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http:// www.caribbeantgovernancetraining.com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500
It is for these reasons that the directors of Caribbean organizations have a major role to play in raising both the ethical standards and the behaviours within the corporations on whose boards they sit. In so doing, Caribbean boards need to become the custodian of their organisation’s culture, commonly referred to as “the way we do things around here.” After all, without the ethical behaviours that promote trust, it will be exceedingly difficult for an organisation to accomplish anything in terms of the relationships needed with its stakeholders. So, how should a Caribbean board proceed? To help ensure an ethical organisation – based on trust – the board should make sure that each of the following steps are implemented.
Articulate Your Ethics Code The board needs to charge its senior leadership with responsibility for defining what constitutes their organization’s ethical orientation. This is usually expressed in the form of an “ethics code,” which details in precise terms the acceptable and unacceptable behaviors to which both employees and board members alike must adhere. A wellcrafted code, however, not only describes what not to do but also what the organization looks like when everyone is operating “at their best.” As a general rule, creating such a code should NOT be done as a reaction to some crisis as this will signal that ethics matter only when the organization is in trouble. Ethics must be a standard operating condition. In addition, it is important that the code be seen as a critical strategic factor – something important to the success of the organization – as opposed to simply something that needs to be done to satisfy the regulators and/or company critics. But defining ethical conduct in a written document is no guarantee that the behaviours required will in fact follow. Since the goal is to instill and maintain a culture of trust, it is important that the code be made real for every person – both new and old.
Ethics and the Hiring Process For new employees, this means that the ethical code must be used as part of the selection process. The code should be made available to all prospective candidates prior to an interview. During the interview process, candidates should be invited to discuss, for the record, the degree to which it aligns with their personal ethics. They should be asked for specific examples and ultimately to express their acceptance of the code. This might even involve some mini-case or problem solving exercises. Once selected, the ethics code should form part of the orientation process and individuals should be asked to describe specifically – in behavioural terms – how it will affect their work.
Ethics and Role Descriptions For both new and current employees, their job descriptions should make reference to the code and state explicitly the expectation that everyone is expected to follow it. Moreover, everyone should be asked to sign, on an annual basis, both their understanding and acceptance of the organisation’s
code. The aim up to this point, however, is just to ensure that everyone knows exactly what it is that they should do to make the code real and why they should do it.
Ethics Training and Development Unfortunately, knowing what to do and why it should be done is sometimes not enough to get the ethical behaviours desired – particularly among the existing cadre of “oldtimers” who have been inoculated to accept – and even perpetrate - ethical transgressions. A comprehensive and aggressive training program will ensure that the values detailed in the ethics code have meaning for each person in his or her job. Role playing, simulations and case examples should all be provided to demonstrate the organisation’s new commitment to the code. While this may sound pretty obvious, it is surprising to learn that even with 90% of Fortune 500 companies reporting to have codes of ethical conduct, only 45% have training programs specifically related to them.
Align Your Ethics Code With Your Performance Management Systems The final leg of the board’s role in creating an ethical work environment however involves adjusting the organisation’s performance management system – but especially for its senior management team – to include ethical behaviour as an important criterion for performance measurement, promotion and possibly even termination. This is precisely what Jack Welch did as he attempted to instill new values in GE and often commented on how he was prepared to fire any executive who, despite having “delivered on his numbers” did not “live the values.” In this regard, employee surveys need to be adjusted to measure the perception – particularly of the organisation’s front line workers – regarding the impact that leadership behaviours are having on them.
In Conclusion By following these simple guidelines, boards can do much to maintain or restore the trust in their organisations, which their key stakeholders – operating as customers, employees, suppliers or governments – long to have return. So here’s the big uncomfortable question for Caribbean directors: To what extent has your board taken the necessary steps to ensure that your organisation’s culture reflects the ethical standards that society and its key stakeholders both expect and require? Accordingly, if you think that there is room for improvement in the way your board approaches its “ethical imperative,” you might want to consider sending your directors to one of the corporate governance training programs currently available in the region – like the extraordinarily unique three-day Chartered Director Program (“C. Dir.”) currently being offered by the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. After all, it’s not education which is expensive, but rather ignorance. ¤
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
When Sustainability Meets Human Resources
Meets Human Resources By: Oliver Bottois
re you amazed about all the buzz with sustainability, reducing carbon foot print and supporting the community, promoted often by hotel chains who hire dozens of expatriates? With some exceptions, hiring expatriates is often unnecessary, expensive, not supporting local job creation and taking short cuts...Why short cuts? Because it is easier to bring someone fully trained from overseas to fill the position right away with minimum or no training...Besides the fact that it is at a higher cost and short lived, it can be disruptive to the staff morale, demotivating and not encouraging loyalty. It continues to amaze me how many managers continue to surround themselves with expatriates when talented people, born and raised â€œon islandâ€? or in the region are right in front of them! People with untapped potential in need of coaching, training and mentoring as they may have limited experience and no overseas experience but extremely smart! They are willing to work hard and learn. They need support and exposure. They need a leader that promotes from within whenever possible or committed to provide support often necessary in areas such as revenue management which requires a particular skill set. For example why would you bring an expat chef from the UK to your authentic Caribbean resort when your local executive sous chef, born and raised on island is likely
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
to know the product better and have close relationships with local farmers, fishermen and other local suppliers? The point can be made that a local chef has not been exposed to international trends, presentations or cooking techniques. Then what about bringing foreign guest chefs to visit your team, work with them side by side for a few days? What about taking your local Executive Chef overseas on your next sales or PR trip to get exposure? Believe me the investment is likely to be lower and the trip super motivating for the chef (and you). In fact it is also a reward! Showing him or her appreciation! I have done it on many occasions and will do it again!
Our legacy as hoteliers is to leave a better team and better product in place when we leave our leading role than when we started. Profit follows. Short term assignments and turnover are very costly in the long run. Egos and changes for the sake of changes are very costly. Hire people with the best attitude, train them, inspire them, listen to them, allow them to do what they do best, provide meaningful feedback and hold them accountable. During my five year tenure as a General Manager repositioning an iconic independent resort in the Caribbean, I was fortunate enough to replace over time expatriates hired by previous management with local talent and proud to have transitioned the labor force to a 100% local staff born and raised in St Lucia. Meaningful and rewarding. Be a mentor and give back to the community. Make it part of your legacy. Â¤
Local chefs are likely to stay long term and be loyal. Visionary recruiters such as Pamala Baldwin from Caribsearch long ago tapped into the local market to identify talent when possible. It is about supporting the local economy and keeping dollars in the community. A leader identifies untapped talent and takes a chance to invest in them long term even if it is inconvenient in the short term. The learning curve may be steep but the long term benefits for all stakeholders amazing! Leading a resort as an expat in the Caribbean is often a 2-3 year term where (unfortunately) long term strategy is not always top of mind.
Oliver Bottois is a third generation French Hotelier with luxury hotel experience in six countries, Bottois is a Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Leading Hotels of the World alumni who led some iconic hotels and resorts in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. He is the founder and Director of Lussoria Hospitality, A Management and Marketing company specializing in boutique independent properties asset value enhancement.
FOR ALL YOUR CATERING NEEDS! Goddard Catering
After successfully operating as the oﬃcial Caterer for Cricket World Cup 2007, Goddard Catering Group saw the need to raise the bar on catering services throughout the region. This led to the birth of GCG Events in October of 2008. GCG Events is an aﬃliated company of Goddard Catering Group and a member of the Goddard Enterprises Group of Companies. Our vision is to become the premier catering company in the region by providing culinary experiences that consistently meet and exceed customer expectations. To achieve this GCG Events has invested in a state of the art facility, an internationally trained team of event experts, and ingredients that meet our exacting standards. From conception to completion, our experienced team will help you turn your dream event into a reality. GCG Events is committed to make each and every event, “Simply Outstanding” At GCG Events we are dedicated to making you the perfect host. We strive to make every catered event, distinguished, blissful and stress-free. Our high standards, supreme service and exceptional quality will make your event a ﬂawless, unforgettable experience.
• • • • • • •
WEDDINGS CONFERENCES BANQUETS OFFICE PARTIES SOCIAL GATHERINGS COCKTAIL PARTIES OTHER EVENTS
GCG Events is delighted to assist brides, grooms and their families with the menu planning for that signiﬁcant day of their dreams. From grand and lavish to intimate and informal, we can make your special day something you and your guests will always remember. Your employees and guests will surely appreciate your catering choice whilst consuming each delightful bite of their lunch, canapé or breakfast. Choose one of our menus or allow our chef to create a personalized menu for you that matches your vision and theme. Our team will make sure everything runs smoothly to ensure you and your guests have an unforgettable time.
Hewanorra Int’l Airport | P.O. Box 363 Vieux Fort, St. Lucia, W.I. +1.758.459.6400 Ext: 6429 | +1.758.728.9400
email@example.com BusinessFocus Dec /Jan | 11 www.gcg-events.com
Do An Education Background Check To Avoid Regret
Do An Education Background Check To Avoid Regret By: Brian Ramsey
ecently there was a news story about an individual who was discovered using a fraudulent educational certificate in an attempt to get a job in the office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago. On the same day there was another news story about another individual who was found to have been using a fraudulent educational certificate in an attempt to gain a promotion at their place of employment and that the person had used the same fraudulent educational certificate to gain their initial employment at that organization. These news stories may sound like exceptional events but unfortunately, in todayâ€™s business world, they are not. People, when seeking to get a job, will falsify information on their application. Hiring the wrong person can be detrimental to an organization. There is the cost involved in the initial hiring and then if you do find out that the person lied, there is the cost of repeating the entire hiring process. According to a survey conducted by Right Management Consultants, the replacement cost of a bad hire is one to five times the salary of the job in question. Among the extra costs are the direct and indirect cost of recruiting and hiring, the direct and indirect cost BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
of training, and the wasted wages and benefits. If the person that was hired turns out to be dishonest, there is also the potential direct and indirect cost of stolen funds, materials, equipment, disruption of the work environment, loss of customer goodwill and employer reputation. Educational credentials are frequently falsified on resumes and applications because applicants assume that most companies will check on past employment but will not check educational credentials. In addition, job candidates are more likely to lie to small businesses because they assume that those companies are even less likely to perform background checks on their candidates. Among the common methods of falsifying educational qualifications is to claim that they graduated from a particular school when in fact they never attended it or only attended for a short time. Another method is to claim that they earned a particular degree when all they did was to take a few classes in that field. In some cases applicants will show a degree that was really earned by another family member or show a degree that they purchased from a diploma mill, which will award you a degree once you pay the required amount and list some life experience. Another technique is to show a degree from a university that they
actually attended, but the degree they really earned is different from the degree that they show on their resume. In most job interviews or pre-screening interviews, it is normal to ask to see
Brian Ramsey has a B.A. in Accounting & Management, along with an M.B.A. in Finance and over 29 years in the Caribbean security field. He is the Regional Development Director for Amalgamated Security Services Limited which operates in Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago and is the parent company of Alternative Security Services (St. Lucia) Limited. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
evidence of a person’s educational attainments. It is equally normal for the applicant to state that they have brought copies and to hand over those copies. Over the years, I have formed the habit of asking to see the originals. However, with the plethora of educational institutions that are available today, can you really tell what the original certificate/diploma/ degree is supposed to look like? With scanning technology so readily available and the advances in personal printers and photocopiers, how can you tell that what you are looking at is a genuine certificate? Are you in a position to know what the signatures on those documents are supposed to be, especially if the person claims that they did their course of study several years ago? So how do you go about checking educational credentials? The first step is to look carefully at the resume and see if anything is out of sequence. Most people follow a traditional progression to get their educational qualifications. There would usually be high school, followed by a bachelor’s, then a master’s and, finally, a doctoral degree. If on the resume there is no bachelor’s degree but there is a master’s degree that is a red flag. It does not mean that the person is being dishonest, simply that more investigation is required. It takes some time for a person to earn their degrees, with a bachelor’s usually taking three or four years, a master’s taking two years and a PhD even longer. If the time period shown for the person’s degree(s) is less than that, then that is another warning sign warranting further investigation. The person may be falsifying their credentials or may have bought the degree from a diploma mill. Now diploma mills can be difficult to identify, especially because they often use names that are close to or sound like those of well-known colleges and universities. The next step in verifying educational qualifications is to contact the university. Most college registrars will, upon request, confirm dates of attendance and graduation, as well as degrees awarded and majors. When doing interviews you should always get written permission from the applicant for you to do a background check including educational qualifications. Once you have the written permission, university registrars can provide a certified academic transcript. Unless you are very familiar with the particular school, you should not stop your investigation simply because someone answers your questions on the phone or responds with a letter. Some diploma mills offer a “verification service” that will send a phony transcript to a prospective employer who calls. Another step is to research the school on the internet. You should check to see if the school is accredited by a recognized agency. Colleges and universities accredited by legitimate agencies generally undergo a rigorous review of the quality of their educational programs. If a school has been accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, it’s probably legitimate. You should be aware, however, that many diploma mills claim to be “accredited,” but the accreditation is from a bogus, but official-sounding, agency they invented. If all of these efforts sound like time-consuming work, it can be, but it is better to invest the time up front and get the right person, than to hire persons with falsified documents and regret it later. You can also hire a firm that specializes in background investigations and have them do the checking for you. ¤
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Mongiraud, Gros Islet, P.O. Box 8330 Choc Cell: (758) 484-9007 Tel: (758) 721-7201 • 452-8022/32 Fax: (758) 452-0030 Email: email@example.com Web: hsautorental.com BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Digicel Business Shortlisted For ‘Best Caribbean Wholesaler’In The Global Carrier Awards 2016
DIGICEL BUSINESS SHORTLISTED FOR ‘BEST CARIBBEAN WHOLESALER’ IN THE GLOBAL CARRIER AWARDS 2016 Thursday, 3rd November, 2016 – Kingston, Jamaica: Digicel Business, leading full service solutions provider in the region, announced today that it is one of three finalists in the Global Carrier Awards 2016 for the “Best Caribbean Wholesaler” category for its Best Regional and Global Wholesale Carrier application. The Global Carrier Awards celebrate innovation, excellence and vision, and set the benchmark for performance throughout the global wholesale telecoms marketplace. Digicel Business was selected based on its innovation in network services and commitment to doing things differently - always challenging the status quo in the Caribbean and providing world-class service to the carrier community. In the past year, Digicel has invested heavily in new services and technologies across the Caribbean, with one of its major achievements being the completion of Digicel Global Connect – a fully managed private network that offers Managed Ethernet, VPLS and MPLS technology across twenty three of its twenty six Caribbean markets. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Combined with a strong in-market network, Digicel Global Connect delivers the best network experience in the Caribbean today by giving its partners access to state-of-the-art Cisco-powered network with an extensive reach of over 150 countries globally. “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the distinguished Global Carrier Awards in our first year of entering. We are committed to changing how the market buys connectivity, so to be shortlisted for this award is a testament to the great work that the team is doing, “said Garrett Quinn, Head of Digicel Business for the Caribbean and Central America. Quinn continued; “Business is global, and Digicel is delighted to offer the solutions that make it easier for our partners to do business in the Caribbean.” Now in its 11th year, the Global Carrier Awards will be held on Tuesday 8th November in Paris. ¤
Digicel DIGICEL BUSINESS
Digicel Eye allows you to monitor your property at anytime and anywhere. View live and recorded video that is safely stored in the cloud from your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Contact Digicel Business today at: 1-(758) -724-6001 Or firstname.lastname@example.org BusinessFocus Sept Dec /Jan BusinessFocus / Oct
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KPIs – The Measure
KPI’s - The Measure of Success
of Success By: Kezia Preville
ost businesses have some type of performance measurements which assist with understanding how well the organization is accomplishing its goals. This is an integral process for a company especially in economic uncertain times. Key performance indicators act as a guide and assist the team in deciphering if they are on the correct path for achieving their strategic goals. As firms seek ways to measure both financial attributes like profit, sales leads and conversion rates, and non-financial like the speed of responses, customer satisfaction, brand awareness and retention or succession planning among other factors, KPIs are the company’s means of measuring and achieving success.
How How do doKPIs KPIswork? work? Typically, they are measureable goals which link to the company’s management tools like a balanced score card for example, to the strategic goals. Through identification of these goals, they are utilized as the foundation of the strategic decisions of the firm. They should be well defined and quantifiable, clearly communicated throughout the firm and be applicable to the department or firm as it aligns with current goals. Once trends are identified, the key levers for driving future performance can be revealed.
Conversion Rates: the number of new customers divided by the number of qualified leads will determine the rate at which leads become actual customers.
3. Renewal business: similar to sales leads, renewal business tracks repeat customers which will help grow the business.
Profit & Loss: it is essential to track and compare revenue, gross profit, expenses and operating income data. This determines how well the company is performing and get the Financial Department in gear.
5. Customer Satisfaction: the customer is always right? Well some times. Measuring your customers’ satisfaction through surveys and feedback are important ways to identify what the customers like and dislike. Very important for the Marketing, Sales and Purchasing Departments. Once key performance indicators are measured properly, then successes can be tracked, or failures can be identified and resolved. Designing a framework which can improve each area will in turn improve the overall operating performance. So do you know your company’s key performance indicators? Are you tracking the correct KPIs? ¤
KPIs for a Balance Scorecard will translate a firm’s corporate vision into measureable goals, form linkages to individual performance goals, create internal processes to meet strategic goals and evaluated to make recommendations aimed at improving the overall operations of the firm.
What bemeasured? measured? What could be There are thousands of KPIs depending on what needs to be measured. The following highlights 5 main key performance indicators which can be applied to most companies: 1. Sales Leads: the number of new leads generated which can be tracked and quantified. Usually for the Sales department and depending on the size of the organization, could be divided by individual, department or even region. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Kezia Preville is a Marketing and Business Development Specialist with over 10 years’ experience in various industries. For more information, contact her at AdVizze Inc on email@example.com
5 Business Technology Predictions for 2017
5 Business Technology Predictions for 2017
5 Business Technology Predictions for 2017
By: Steven Scheck
ith 2016 moving towards the end, the technology revolution and augmentation in businesses continue to barrel forward with disruptive and emerging trends mushrooming every day.
to major upgrades in speed and efficiency. Technology will evolve for improved big data storage for companies.
Here is a list of the predictions that will define technology implementation in businesses for the next year.
Such increased adoption will be fueled by the various benefits that businesses can avail from big data. Not only does it help in developing better products and services and serving customers better, it also provides a competitive advantage to the businesses.
IoT Will Create Valuable Customer Experiences
Memorable Interactions With AR and VR
Driven by the latest tools of technology, customer expectations have accelerated over the years and businesses have been looking for ways to provide satisfactory experiences to them. The Internet of Things has been instrumental in making this possible. In 2017, the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to become more valuable to exceed customer expectations. It has been labeled as the next Industrial Revolution. • By 2020, the number of connected devices will rise to 50 billion. • $6 trillion will be invested in IoT over the next five years.
Wireless Technology Will Become the New Norm
With the disruptive trends of augmented and virtual reality taking the center stage, these are expected to turn the business landscape upside down in the next year. With headsets and other tools being made accessible, these technologies have come way beyond the gaming reality and into the world of businesses and customer interactions.
Mobility Will Dominate
Mobile workplace is going to be the new norm for 2017. Businesses have already accepted the trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). 2017 will witness the companies devising strategies to make the most of this trend.
Hybrid wireless technologies will connect two or more devices to provide seamless experiences for users. Apple has already adopted the wireless bandwagon by launching the iPhone 7 with the wireless headphones along with plans to launch the iPhone 8, which is expected to have wireless charging capability.
According to Fred Mouawad, CEO of TaskWorld, a company that is focused on employee management and performance, “The key is building an environment of trust in your company. As technology gets more mobile, it will become next to impossible for companies to restrict employees from using their own device.”
Other companies have joined in as well. Cable and Internet provider Comcast is planning to offer wireless services by mid2017.
This will enable the workforce to become more productive. Additionally, this will lead to flexible working hours. These trendsetters are expected to stay in the limelight for years to come. Therefore, businesses should start devising strategies to make the most of these and stay ahead of their competition. ¤
Big Data Will Become More Influential
The implementation of big data for all kinds of businesses will become a basic step for all kind of business in 2017. This will lead
Courtesy: Business 2 Community BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Fingerprints Dominate the Future of Passwords
Fingerprints Dominate the Future of Passwords
he need to remember huge numbers of online passwords will be replaced by using fingerprints to unlock not just smartphones but also websites and services, according to a new report.
Paul Lee, head of technology, media and telecoms research at Deloitte, said that using fingerprints to access email, online banking, streaming services such as Spotify and Netflix, and newspaper subscriptions would help consumers overwhelmed by the number of passwords they have to remember. “There is one forecast that people will have 200 online accounts by 2020. You cannot remember 200 different passwords so you will use the same one for everything. The fingerprint provides an alternative,” he said. Companies that sell subscriptions could also start to use fingerprints rather than a password login to stop illegitimate sharing of accounts.
The company interviewed 4,000 people and said that 31 per cent of 18-24 year olds were using the fingerprint scanners on their phones, compared with 8 per cent of those aged over 65. |
The first fingerprint reader was launched on a mobile phone almost a decade ago, when Toshiba adapted the identification function from its laptops to a little-remembered handset, the Portege G500. Motorola tried again with the Atrix 4G in 2011 before Apple’s iPhone 5s pushed the technology into the mainstream when it incorporated Touch ID in 2013. But the impact of the authentication technology was not immediate, despite the hype. Mr Lee, author of the Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey, which will be issued next week, said that the issue for many users had been that fingerprint scanning was associated with criminality and “having your fingerprints taken.” But Deloitte calculates that, in the UK alone, the tips of our fingers are now read more than 100 billion times a year.
The first fingerprint reader was launched on a mobile phone almost a decade ago...
“You can share a password but not a fingerprint,” said Mr. Lee. Deloitte said that while fingerprints had taken a long time to gain traction, the technology had taken off during the past three years.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Deloitte predicts there will be one billion smartphones with fingerprint readers in use by the end of next year and that the technology will spread to cheaper models.
The company said, however, that the death knell of the password had not yet sounded, with its research showing that 63 per cent of the people it surveyed still relied on passwords and pin numbers to unlock their mobile phones, with a further 30 per cent not bothering to lock their phones at all. ¤
Courtesy: The Irish Times, The Financial Times
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“A routine Eye Examination with the Optometrist at Vision Express, is the first step to check if you have any symptoms of Glaucoma. Eye Exams For Seniors Are Free The Optometrist may recommend a Visual Field Test cost $100 ecd
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BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Business Plan - A Must Have?
Business Plan - A Must Have? By: Samuel Rosenberg
round 25 percent of new business owners will be looking for new employment in less than a year. Fifty percent of new businesses will not make their fifth anniversary. Is this because they did not plan properly or are they just unlucky in todayâ€™s poor financial climate? When you start a new business and require a business bank account, the bank will ask to see your business plan, especially if you are going to be asking for an overdraft facility or a loan in the early months.
Despite the amount of educated guesswork you put into your business plans, most business operations will vary considerably from the figures that you originally forecast. Businesses are particularly dynamic and need to adapt to the demands of the marketplace. While you may be on top of your finances, managing income and expenses in your business, when you review your business plan, which might only be six months old, the figures may be grossly understated or overstated.
There are many good reasons for formulating a business plan. It gives you the opportunity to carefully analyse your business idea and to consider all of the risks involved. It shows you how you might grow during the course of a year or more and gives you a guide as to how you will Banks and the majority of investors want need to change your business to match to see that you have a fully working and future income levels. accurate business plan that forms an integral part of your overall strategic planning. For anyone starting in business, the expense of hiring an expert to put together Nevertheless, if you know your business a business plan for you is most probably a back to front and understand all about your waste of money, unless it is the only way marketing and finances, why do you need that your investor will help you. There to commit this all to writing when almost are many business plans available as all bank managers know that a business templates on the Internet and there are plan is just a work of fiction and bears no many business tools that can help you put resemblance to the business you will be cash flows and projected balance sheets running? together.
When you need a further injection of capital into your business after it has been running for a few years, it will be much easier for you to put together a business plan that is more relevant and realistic, based upon your experience. The best entrepreneur will know their business intimately and be able to quote you all of the relevant figures about income and expenses and profit levels, without needing to resort to a business plan. For those, the plan is a formality, for the rest itâ€™s an important planning tool. Â¤
Where you require any type of investment into your business, however long it has been running, unless the money is coming from a friendly uncle, the investor will want to analyse your business plan.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
The Benefits of HR Technology
The Benefits of HR Technology By: By: Perry Perry Longville Lomgville
t was Richard Branson who said “Success in business is all about people, people, people. Whatever industry a company is in, its employees are its biggest competitive advantage.” Whilst many business leaders believe in those words, just as many shy away from acquiring a Human Resource Management Software to help support that challenging road to success . There is a lot that a company has to do in order to survive in this difficult and competitive market. To even begin to think about success managers must ensure that there is the building of a strong organizational culture brought about by effective communication. Labour & Time management need to be done correctly so that your human resource can be maximized. Salaries must be processed accurately and on-time.Benefits must show employees a clear advantage to staying with the company and can attract other talented workers. Reports must be available that can show the impact of each employee on the success of the organization. If you think this is hard – you are correct. But what is even harder is convincing organizations to accept a solution to their problems. Yet many prefer to solve their problems the hard way because the hard way is what they are used to. It may have been enough a few years ago for a good employee to perform a manual process, the same is not true now. Now organizations have to be able to streamline their processes and get more done in less time. There has to be 100% accuracy and trust in the information that is presented. Research shows that fewer than 10% of businesses within the region use any type of automated HR system. From this group, 90% are large organizations with more than 100 employees. The reasons for a lack of investments in Human Resource Management Software (HRMS) are many – at the top of this list is the inability to quantify a return on investment in such software.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Mr. Longville was St. Lucia’s first Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) though the American based Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) with over 15 years of human resource & payroll experience. He has held substantive management posts in Human Resources within the hospitality, utility and financial services sectors. He is educated in financial management with an extensive background in wage and salary plan design including compensation management and implementation of payroll systems. Perry recently served as Regional Manager – Human Resource & Finance for Unique Vacations Ltd – Sandals, before taking on a full-time role as Managing Director – HRM Solutions Inc. Perry is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association of Certified Trainers and has served on the board of the St. Lucia Employers Federation for the past eight (8) years.
A good HRMS provides an all-in-one solution that can have immense time and cost saving benefits to any organization, irrespective of size or industry. In this article we will focus on a few benefits of an effective HRMS:
Doing More with Less Manual systems require hiring additional staff to deal with the requirements of a dynamic workforce. An HRMS can ensure that proper processes and procedures are adhered at all times and can help reduce the need for additional administrative support. This can save a company an average of $100 per employee per month.
Access to Information Imagine that board meeting where all the information needed is at your fingertips, allowing decisions to be made almost instantaneously. With an HRMS all information is in a central location. HR staff spend 60%-80% of their time in repetitive administrative tasks. The introduction of an HRMS reduces the time spent on retrieving employee information by 30%.
Reduces Human Error It is not fun for an error to be discovered with an employee’s salary after a payroll is processed or for employees to be paid late. These situations can cost a business the respect and commitment of staff. A good HRMS automates a lot of the critical HR functions. . A 2% reduction in employee error rate can have a huge impact on a company’s bottom line that can quickly cover the cost of an automated solution.
Reduces the Need for Office Supplies The electronic storage and retrieval of employee information (payslips, leave balances et.) through employee self-service can reduce the amount of stationery and paper used. This not only reduces this expense by as much as 60%, but also encourages a green culture to help preserve our planet for the generations to follow.
Improves Customer Service & Reduces Turnover Remember the embarrassment of forgetting an employee’s birthday? Or missing an important deadline? A state-of-the-art HRMS helps keep track of, and provide reminders for important events & occasions. This improved communication can help boost morale and keep our best talent from walking out the door and going to a competitor. Each turnover (advertising, recruiting, training & lost revenue) costs 70% of an employee’s annual salary. Instead of signing, filing and photocopying, HR can spend more time performing more value-add functions , such as face-to-face interactions with employees to help guide and develop them. These technological changes are never easy to implement as most persons are stuck in their ways and prefer the status quo, yet the most successful businesses are those who adopt a culture of learning and using cutting edge technology to help grow their business. ¤
EC Global Insurance
1st Floor Financial Centre Building Bridge Street P.O. Box 1860 Castries Tel: (758) 451-3244 | Fax: (758) 458-1222 Website: www.ecglobalinsurance.com | Email: email@example.com
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
CDB Urges St. Lucia to Implement Fiscal Reform
CDB Urges St. Lucia to Implement Fiscal Reform
aint Lucia will have to undertake a wide range of ambitious fiscal and public financial management reforms to keep its economy on the right track, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has said.
Speaking at a recent live press conference, Director of Economics at the CDB Dr. Justin Ram said this will ensure the country’s debt profile is placed on a sustainable trajectory. “The government of Saint Lucia needs to look at fiscal consolidation, structural reforms to improve competitiveness and increase growth, focus on transformative infrastructure project … and focus on strategic liability management to maintain debt,” he said.
He said the local private sector needs to be the driving force that will help to bring about that change. It was noted that Saint Lucia like many Caribbean countries, also exhibit some of the same problems experienced in the rest of the region, which is low growth, reflecting high export concentration and high indebtedness.
Ram was presenting findings from a report conducted jointly by the CDB and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which looked at Saint Lucia’s overall economic strengths and weaknesses. The CDB official said the government must also focus on growth enhancing reforms, explaining that with high levels of growth, brings down employment and spurs greater investment.
The new government had sought the assistance of the CDB, to look at Saint Lucia’s economic structure, to determine how they will improve the country’s finances and promote growth. The CDB official was joined by Minister within the Ministry of Finance Dr. Ubaldus Raymond.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
St. Lucia News Online
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Bitcoin Exchange, Caricoin Interested in Jamaica
Bitcoin Exchange, Caricoin Interested in Jamaica
By: McPherse Thompson
new player is trying to set up a bitcoin exchange in Jamaica as the first-known operator in the virtual currency space locally, but it needs the approval of the Bank of Jamaica.
The central bank is in talks with Caricoin, a business emanating from the United Kingdom, and has signalled that any approval is likely to come within the frame of the mobile-money ecosystem. “We have had some exploratory discussions with them, talking about the regulatory framework and the process that would have to be engaged in order for them to secure approval so they can offer the service,” said BOJ deputy governor in charge of technology as well as the payments system Livingston Morrison. Caricoin, which has development offices in Kingston, said it is focused on delivering a secure, user-friendly and less costly way of storing wealth and moving it around.
Becker said Caricoin’s platform is focused on the Caribbean as a whole, but they see Jamaica as being a key place, primarily because some of the investors are Jamaican. However, he declined to identify the investors at this time. “We realise that there is a great need in Jamaica specifically |
He said Caricoin is regulated in the United Kingdom, where they have their head office and they are currently preparing documents to present to the BOJ to show how they were able to “pull off” in the UK what they call a sandbox approach towards delivering new technology. Adopting the sandbox approach would allow start-ups and other companies that are innovating to get what Becker described as an “unofficial thumbs up” from the BOJ and the Ministry of Finance to operate instead of going through a long and complex licensing process.
Caricoin injected some worth of free bitcoins into the system...
Caricoin’s adviser on Caribbean regulatory matters, Karsten Becker told Gleaner Business that they are “very much interested in setting up operations in Jamaica.”
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
for something that can cater to the unbanked and that open up e-commerce to the average small business,” Becker said.
“Then what you do is, you have legal firms who have specialities in those areas to co-sponsor the sandbox with the eye that, of course, if the project proceeds and works out, then the legal firms will get work on the back of the success of the project,” he said. In the UK, according to the Financial Conduct Authority, the regulatory sandbox aims to create a ‘safe space’ in which businesses can test innovative products, services, business models, and delivery mechanisms in a live environment without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of engaging in the activity in question. “So the sandbox approach that they have in the UK, it doesn’t
shut people out,” Becker said. “So it’s not that they say this is not regulated so you can’t do it. They said if it’s not regulated, you can do it, but you need to submit some information to us so we can figure out how to regulate it in the future.” He said Caricoin became operational across the Caribbean about three months ago “due to the nature of our technology, which is bitcoin technology, which is not regulated so it does not break any rules as long as we don’t integrate with local banking”. Instead: “What we have done is, a lot of companies, as you know, are able to find back doors into local banking, so we could get banking in Panama or somewhere like that and then accept Jamaican credit cards,” he explained. “We have opted not to integrate into banking in the Caribbean as yet while we work with the BOJ to figure out how to move forward.”
Windward & Leewards Brewery Ltd
Asked if Caricoin already have customers in Jamaica, Becker said: “We have people across the entire Caribbean. We launched about three months ago across the Caribbean - we had a pilot to see if you brought what we call transformative and evolutionary technology to the region if people would actually use it despite the limitations of a lack of banking integration.” He said Caricoin injected some US$50,000 worth of free bitcoins into the system during the pilot, which was deemed a success in that persons from Turks & Caicos Islands to Barbados and Trinidad used the platform and spent their digital money on, for example, mobile top-ups and to shop online. The BOJ’s Morrison said the electronic retail payment guidelines published in 2013 provides some broad categories in which electronic financial services products can fit. “It is for the innovators to fit within those broad categories and for us to then consider how they organise the service the governance arrangement, the technology, the agreements with the stakeholders, the customers, consumer protection arrangements, how you ensure safety and security of consumer funds,” the central banker said. “Because it is innovative and it’s in the electronic space doesn’t mean that we can allow for those potential service providers to subscribe to a different level of authorisation. The due diligence has to be rigorous in respect of the vehicle that is going to be used to deliver the service. The consumer protection principles can’t be reduced because of the nature of the business than you want to run.” However, he said the central bank “stands ready to look at any proposal” Caricoin puts on the table. As to whether the BOJ has the capacity to regulate the operations of virtual currencies, Morrison said the central bank has adopted the stance “that virtual currencies fall within our Payment Clearing and Settlement Act and as a consequence they require authorisation”. ¤ Courtesy: The Gleaner BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Building Bridges for Better Caribbean Business in Trump Era
Building Bridges for Better Caribbean Business in Trump Era
he Caribbean and Latin America are lapping-up the results of the most controversial US presidential election ever, which served-up what the world had been told was the most tasteless or distasteful candidate as the one Americans liked most. But long before his surprise election victory, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico had started taking steps to consolidate their business, trade, economic, cultural and political ties with their closest neighbours in the Wider Caribbean area. It’s still too early to say what effect the election of Donald Trump as the next US president will have on America’s relations with its neighbours, from borderline Mexico to Cuba, or from Jamaica to Guyana in the English-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region. With Caribbean economies still reeling under pressure from domestic and external difficulties and the international financial agencies predicting growth rates that will still be too low to address regional unemployment, the likes of Brazil, Cuba and Mexico have been looking beyond their borders and embracing new initiatives closer to home. The new November neighbourly comes as Latin American nations seek new South-South business and investment arrangements, forced by global and regional political and economic climate changes to search harder for ways and means of finding common opportunities to build bridges to do better business. Cuba’s opening-up to US investment, Brazil’s need to shore-up its declining reserves and Mexico’s growing interest in attracting more Caribbean business to its shores, have combined to result in each nation this month arranging major trade, investment and entrepreneurial functions aimed at boosting closer CaribbeanLatin American business and trade investment and cooperation.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
A Brazilian business pivot to the smaller English-speaking Eastern Caribbean islands is currently under way, just as Cuba and Mexico are also looking to CARICOM, OECS and the other states in the Wider Caribbean region. Cuba hosted the 34th Havana International Trade Fair from October 31 to November 4, which was attended by delegations from all six OECS member-states (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines). The islands’ participation in the FIHAV 2016 had been arranged by the OECS Commission, which sought to introduce the regional business representatives not only to the Cuban market, but also to entities from over 75 other countries that also attended the Havana event. The recent Brazil-OECS Business Forum, organized by the Brazilian Embassy in Saint Lucia with support from the government’s leading investment agency Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) and the OECS Commission, ran alongside a similar mission mounted by Mexico. The Embassy of Mexico to the Eastern Caribbean States, also located here, last month announced that the 2016 Cancun Forum entitled “Creating Synergies to Strengthen the Competitiveness of the Greater Caribbean” would take place November 16 to 18. By the time it’s over, the region should have a better understanding of why the new regime change in Washington will require even stronger efforts to build, renew and strengthen South-South business ties in the Trump era. Caribbean News Now, The Diplomatic Courier
Prime Minister’s Message “It is with great pleasure that I congratulate The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) on its 50th anniversary of providing service to its membership and the Saint Lucia community. As the voice of the tourism industry, the SLHTA has been an extremely effective organisation in conveying the concerns of the sector as well as working with Government in order to create an industry we can all be proud of, that also provides opportunities for our people. “It is essential that organizations such as the SLHTA continue to work with Government in order to create equity and a better tourism environment for the benefit of all. “I commend the SLHTA on the training and development programmes they continue to make available for the staff of the tourism sector and for Saint Lucia’s young people. This Government is committed to working with the SLHTA to create a first class workforce in Saint Lucia on par with what is delivered at the highest levels. Our plans are well underway to provide the best training opportunities right here at home in order to assist the sector and prepare our citizens for all the prospects that exist and are in the pipeline for this industry. “It is also essential that I highlight the SLHTA’s efforts in tourism promotion. The tourism sector is ever evolving and the initiatives you have put forward to market the island must be commended. The advertising campaigns of some of your members benefit the country as a whole and I say thank you to all of you for making your own investments in marketing and for diversifying your individual tourism product.
Allen Chastanet Prime Minister
“Perhaps one of the most significant initiatives of the SLHTA has been the Tourism Enhancement Fund. By establishing this fund, you let the people of Saint Lucia know that you are committed to this country, that you are invested in the communities in which we live. “Over the years our hotels, inns, restaurants, and even persons in our tourism sector have been singled out for world renowned awards and I applaud you. There is so much more for us out there. I believe in what we have to offer to the world and I believe we can put ourselves on the path to achieving the SLHTA’s goal of making this the best island destination in the world. “To the current president of the SLHTA and all the past presidents as well as the current and past members of the Board of Directors and the staff, I say congratulations and take a bow. Keep carrying on the vital work you do in this sector and continue to collaborate with us as we seek to make Saint Lucia a more unique and competitive destination.” ¤
Minister of Tourism Message It is with delight that I wish to congratulate the Board and Members of the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association on over 50 years of partnership in the development of the tourism industry. From its inception, the SLHTA has been an advocate and partner in the development of Saint Lucia’s tourism industry. At the genesis of the SLHTA in 1963, the island was moving away from an agrarian society to the tourism focused economy that we see today, and through this transition the Association played the formidable role of catalyst and partner. In the early days, the challenges often seemed monumental and the unwavering efforts of early pioneers like the late Eileen Paul, Chef Harry and Antonia Jean cannot be understated. Today, Saint Lucia’s tourism industry has become the principle economic driver and the challenges we face, though different, are still significant. In response to this, the Ministry of Tourism has continued to work hand in hand with the Association which has helped to shape policy, develop the island’s tourism product and be a unified voice for all the subsectors knotted to this industry. The SLHTA stands apart from the rest in its commitment to not only assist its member companies but the thousands of employees who work within the industry daily. Through its philanthropic work, it has sought to develop our workforce through the provision of: foreign language education, professional development and training and certification courses. The SLHTA has made one of its key mandates human resource development and in so doing has provided thousands of Saint Lucians with a chance of upward mobility in their individual careers.
Minister of Tourism
In the coming months, Saint Lucia’s tourism industry will undergo a transformation that will intended to cement our position as one of the leading destinations for tourism. I trust that as we embark upon this journey, the SLHTA shall be with us every step of the way, to not only ensure the best interests of the industry but of Saint Lucia. As the principle tourism private sector agency, the SLHTA indeed shoulders great responsibility and I am honoured to congratulate them on rising to the occasion each and every time. This period of transformation will require the strengthening of alliances both old and new. Let us continue to believe in the strength of our collective will, and our ability to re-invent our industry and ourselves. Congratulations again! ¤ BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
SLHTA President’s Introduction
I wish to thank all our members for sharing our reflections on our efforts over the past years and to help us craft the way forward for the tourism industry in Saint Lucia. It is the only sector today that collectively offers the opportunity to attract foreign investment, grow employment in significant numbers, support local producers and manufacturers, preserve our environment and attract international attention to our entertainment talents, arts and culture. The impact of tourism, as measured and reported by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) cannot be ignored.
Sanovnik Destang SLHTA President
The WTTC reports that in 2014, Travel & Tourism directly supported 15,500 jobs (20.4% of total employment) in Saint Lucia. Caribbean Tourism Organization authorities have also reported record tourism arrivals for many of our regional neighbours, such as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Belize and the Dutch Caribbean. In fact, it reports a record 26.3 million people traveled to the Caribbean in 2014.
As encouraging as these reports are, Caribbean tourism still only accounts for a about 2% of world tourism. Some experts are warning that the rate of growth for the region is expected to slow and fall further behind other regions offering the same sand, sea and sun. The absence of a national vision for growing tourism and extracting its gains in a sustainable manner still challenges our region and our island in particular. Without this vision, we will not be able to tap the full potential of tourism for Saint Lucia and enhance our competitiveness in the global tourism industry. Our approach has got to be less reactive and become more proactive. And whilst much progress has been made in our collaboration with the public sector, the SLHTA would like to see more private sector representation in the many committees and commissions created to formulate a strategic tourism approach or stimulate economic growth and investment. The SLHTA fully supports the international initiative being led by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) to join hands in presenting an open letter to heads of state and governments worldwide, pointing to the fact that, “in spite of its growing relevance and proven contribution to GDP (3% to 5% worldwide), jobs (7% to 8% of all jobs) and exports (30% of the world’s exports of services), Travel and Tourism still lacks due political and economic recognition.” SLHTA, together with policymakers and other stakeholders, must show visionary and inspired leadership in these times of opportunity to craft this vision for our national tourism industry. A few years ago, the SLHTA’s Board of Directors wrestled with this very shortcoming and took a bold decision to lead. For us, our vision for the growth of our industry had to be world class or no class. We reenergized our strategic plans and set out to deliberately add greater value to the discussions on
human resource development, community empowerment, strengthening linkages and building stronger partnerships with private and public sector stakeholders. Without a doubt, the development of human resources is the key to unlocking productivity and business improvement processes, particularly in hospitality. As such, we need to gear our staff members and our work system towards productivity improvement on a daily basis. The presence of a highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce will ensure a competitive edge and a culture that places priority on the acquisition of knowledge and skills to drive attitudes and quality standards. Despite the fast pace at which change occurs in the industry, the irony is that one thing never changes: Guest expectations are still focused on having an experience of a lifetime. If we can’t deliver it, thousands of other destinations worldwide and regionally are ready and waiting to do so. As we prepare to enter 2017 one thing is exceedingly clear: Our success over the past year was largely due to the strengthened partnerships and collaboration with private and public sector stakeholders. It is absolutely clear that our agenda for growth and development in the coming year must include hand-in-hand partnerships so that we may all get a better understanding of each other’s realities and how we are impacted by political and socio-economic events. The SLHTA is deeply committed to working with policymakers and industry members to design innovative ways to grow our economy amidst these uncertain and challenging times. Over the coming year we will commit to engaging, educating, and empowering our various members, policymakers and other stakeholders to foster a collaborative approach towards sustaining the growth we are now experiencing. ¤
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Our Vision Statement – “To be the leading catalyst for developing St. Lucia as the best island destination in the world.” Our Mission Statement – “The premier private sector tourism organization in St. Lucia, providing sound and dynamic leadership for its members, functioning as the principal intermediary for tourism service providers, and, creating an influential lobby on tourism development issues.”
The SLHTA Up-Close As the principal tourism private sector agency in St. Lucia, the SLHTA is responsible for facilitating tourism sector development and management. The SLHTA is a private non-profit membership organization that functions as the “official organization and national spokesperson” for the hospitality industry and its wide membership. The association has a grouping of over two hundred members covering a wide segment of the economic spectrum of St. Lucia to include the tourism, retail and wholesale distribution, agriculture and other services sectors. The SLHTA is dedicated to representing, informing, educating and upholding the interests of its membership in the tourism industry, which has earned it the reputation as the “Voice of the Hospitality Industry.”
SLHTA Principal Functions The SLHTA is governed by a Board of Directors comprising elected representatives from various sections of the tourism sector. This structure is strengthened by a Secretariat, headed by a Chief Executive Office, which focuses on these main activities: • Lobbying/representing the interests of the membership • Assisting in tourism and general policy formulation (via input into Government plans, policies and proposals) • Promoting, orchestrating and facilitating marketing support for members • Coordinating/conducting industry-focused training, human resource development and technical assistance • Monitoring sector developments, performance, practices and trends so as to provide advice to membership • Coordinating supply of key information and statistics from members to developers/investors, planners,
relevant institutions and researchers • Developing strategic business/ institutional alliances to build competitiveness, visibility and profitability of members,
while widening revenue base • Improving relationships and understanding between SLHTA membership, the wider tourism sector and the St. Lucia
community, in the interest of national development and good corporate citizenship, via events, community outreach
programmes and other targeted activities.
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Our Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors
Sanovik Destang President
Daniel Belizaire 1st Vice President
Representative for Large Hotels
Representative for Airlines, Travel Consultants, Destination Management Companies & Wedding Service Providers
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Representative for Small Properties
Representative for Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority
Representative for HighEnd Boutique Hotels
Representative for Ground Transportation & Cruise Sub-sectors and Tour Service Providers
Representative At Large for Banks, Professionals, Educational/Training Institutions & Other Allied Members
Erwin Louisy 2nd Vice President
Representative for the Yachting & Maritime Sub-sector
Director of Tourism
Representative for Luxury Villas & Vacation Rentals
Representative for Independent Restaurants & Food & Beverage Suppliers
Representative for Utility Companies, Statutory Corporations & Financial Institutions
Chief Executive Officer
A History of SLHTA
A History of SLHTA
he Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) was founded as the St. Lucia Hotel Association on 22nd November 1963 by twelve hotels, and led by President Mr. Leonard Headley from 1963 to 1967. In 1988, the organization expanded its membership of accommodation businesses to include several non- accommodation enterprises, allied companies and affiliate organisations. The current cohort of companies making up the SLHTA membership 73 hotels / tourism accommodation establishments and 137 allied members. The organization exists to represent, inform, educate and uphold the interests of its members and has been dubbed “The Voice of the Hospitality Industry” in Saint Lucia. During its genesis, the SLHTA was invited to sit on the Work Permit Committee, The Saint Lucia Marketing Board, the Carnival Development Committee, The Bureau of Standards and the Task Force on Crime. Today the organization is represented on a much broader spectrum of institutions ranging from Community based organizations to state institutions and committees charged with crafting standards and developing regulatory frameworks. The key stakeholders of the SLHTA are its members, the board of directors and the management. Other stakeholders include customers, suppliers, regulators, the entire tourism sector and the country at large. In 2016, the SLHTA amended its membership to encourage independent employees to become members of the institution regardless of whether their place of employ was a member of the SLHTA or not. This enables independent industry employees to get involved in the discussion on the future of tourism and allows them access to a wider range of benefits including group medical insurance, training and development workshops, certification, scholarships and internships in other countries. Since its formation, the SLHTA has been deeply involved in cultural activities, human resource development, environmental preservation and lobbying. The drivers of these efforts are largely volunteer members who sacrifice time away from their investments to ensure industry needs are shaped and strategic alliances built to ensure sustainable growth and development.
The Core Values of the SLHTA are simply: professionalism, vigilance, unity of purpose, and accountability. These principles are the basis for the organization’s vision, strategies, plans, policies and actions. The four (4) values are elaborated thus: • Professionalism: We maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and corporate social responsibility within the entire community. • Vigilance: We are alert and sensitive to market and economic trends, impending legislation and public policies relevant to tourism. • Unity of Purpose: We will adopt positions on issues that serve the interests of the members as a whole. • Accountability: We accept individual and collective responsibility for our actions and for the success of the Association One consultant Lisa James, opines that “together, these values are the “golden thread” running through all the activities and interventions of the Association and reflected in the conduct and disposition of its members, its staff and its leadership as they individually and collectively pursue the goals of the SLHTA.” The key functions of the SLHTA include: 1. Lobbying and representing the interests of its membership, principally in respect of public policy initiatives and related matters of interest to the hospitality
industry in particular and the tourism sector in general;
2. Assisting in tourism and general policy formulation by,
inter alia, providing input into and feedback on Governmental plans, policies and proposals; 3. Promoting, orchestrating and facilitating marketing support for members 4. Coordinating, and where feasible conducting, industry- focused training, human resource development and technical assistance; 5. Monitoring sector developments, performance, practices and trends with a view to advising the membership on key challenges, imperatives, opportunities and threats 6. Coordinating the regular supply of key information and statistics from members in order to provide required information and statistics to developers/investors, planners, relevant institutions and researchers; and 7. Providing professional and technical guidance to members, individually and collectively, on matters of concern/interest. 8. Developing strategic business and institutional alliances geared towards building the competitiveness, visibility and profitability of members while also widening the revenue base of the Association. 9. Through well -managed events, community outreach programmes and other targeted activities, improve the relationship and understanding between the SLHTA membership, the wider tourism sector and the St. Lucia community in the interest of national development and good corporate citizenship.
In recent years, the organization has expanded its offerings and now boasts its own Hospitality Training Centre which trained over 725 industry employees last year, a Languages Resource Centre which offers Certified Spanish classes facilitate by a professor from the University of Quintana Roo out of Mexico, a very popular Apprenticeship Program which has placed over 350 unemployed persons, its own Group Medical Insurance Scheme to which 1200 industry employees subscribe, a Virtual Agricultural Clearing House which connects 427 farmers with 22 hotels to encourage agro tourism linkages and facilitate the purchase of local produce by member hotels, a dine around program which encourages guests to visit independent restaurants among others, a very successful Chefs in Schools program which organizes industry chefs’ visits to secondary schools to train students in culinary arts and numerous other committees lobbying on issues ranging from human resource development to environmental concerns. The Association is currently undertaking a membership drive to encourage small and medium enterprises, micro entrepreneurs and independent workers to experience the benefits of membership. This aggressive growth outreach is expected to triple the membership size over the coming year, adding strength to the lobbying efforts, strengthening linkages and allowing the organization to tap economies of scales as it continues to negotiate greater benefits for its members. Notwithstanding the multiplicity of members with many divergent interests, resolute pursuit of the SLHTA’s declared vision and mission demands a unity of purpose among our members and an unconditional embrace of the core values of the institution. To find out how you can become a member of the SLHTA visit us at #2 Alfiona Plaza, Rodney Heights or call us at 453-1811. For more information on the various programs and services we provide to our members please visit us at www.slhta.com. ¤ BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Presidents Past & Present
Presidents Past & Present
Lione Erlinger Ford SLHTA President 1967 -1969
Alfred Taylor SLHTA President 1972 -1973
Kendall Dun SLHTA President 1973 -1974
Jack Hudson SLHTA President 1974 -1975
Hamish Watson SLHTA President 1975 -1976
SLHTA President 1963 -1967
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Bernard O. Ludwig SLHTA President 1976 -1978
David Gorman SLHTA President 1978 -1980
William Stewart SLHTA President 1980 - 1981/ 1982 - 1984 1990 - 1992
Gregory “Greg” Glace SLHTA President 1981 -1982
Peter Khouly SLHTA President 1984 -1986
William Schanefelt SLHTA President 1986 -1987
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Presidents Past & Present
Michael “Mike” Bevan
1988-1990 1997 - 1999
1996 -1997 2003 - 2005 \ 2009 - 2011
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Allen Chastanet SLHTA President 2005 - 2006
2006 - 2009
2011 - 2014
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women in women in leadership positions. I Berthia Parle
Delivering Exceptional Leadership for the Caribbean Tourism Industry
n January 2015, the International Labor Organization (ILO) published a list of countries with the most women in leadership positions. After Jamaica and Colombia, St. Lucia came in at an impressive third position, with the article stating that more than 52 percent of management on the island is female. With women taking a prominent role in the St. Lucia business sector, it should come as no surprise that we have produced the only two female presidents in the history of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), which has been in existence for more than a halfcentury.
The CHTA’s first female president was the inimitable Berthia Parle, MBE. Her legacy of passion, style and dynamism lives on in the CHTA, and under her leadership important decisions were taken that still guide many of the CHTA’s operations. In October, 2005, Ms. Parle – in her role of CHTA President – was one of four officials that signed a memorandum of understanding between the CHA (as it was called then) and the CTO (Caribbean Tourism Organization) that laid the groundwork for a more strategic alliance between the two organizations and eventually led to the formation of BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
the Caribbean Tourism Development Company in 2007. St. Lucia’s engagement with our regional Caribbean tourism industry goes beyond delivering two female presidents – indeed many men of honour and distinction have provided enlightening and lasting leadership. St. Lucia’s tourism professionals have always understood the importance of regional collaboration to sustainably grow Caribbean tourism. Current President Sanovnik Destang and former SLHTA Presidents Anthony Bowen, Colin Hunte and our honorable Prime Minister Allen Chastanet are just a few of them. Prime Minister Chastanet in particular – throughout his long career in tourism – has been a passionate advocate for a private/public sector-driven regional Caribbean tourism organization to play an important part in strengthening the capacity of our national and regional bodies to champion, promote and grow Caribbean tourism and by doing do, weather the many challenges to the industry. In fact, as we battle with the impact of Zika, BREXIT and other socio-economic
By: Karolin Troubetzkoy
challenges, a unified approach by our private and public sector stakeholders to take Caribbean tourism to new heights and new levels of excellence has never been more critical. Whether it’s ease of travel, affordable and better airlift, education, human resource development, energy efficiency, climate change, linkages to other economic sectors such as agriculture and the creative arts, access to capital, new investment, competitiveness or unemployment, our Caribbean neighbours share many of the same challenges – challenges we can overcome together. We should recognise we have done well, but we need to ensure our best and brightest, males and females together, lock arms and take our national and regional industry to another level. I believe that with a united front we will do it. And as the current CHTA President for the term 2016-2018, I am fully committed to play my part in delivering to the Caribbean people a region that is the most desirable not only to visit, but to grow up, live, work and run a business in. ¤
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A Tribute to Eileen Paul
A Tribute to Eileen Paul By: Berthia Parle
er Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Governor General of Saint Lucia; Ministers of Government; President of the SLHTA, Mrs. Karolin Troubetzkoy and other members of the SLHTA Board of Directors; Honorary SLHTA member Edward ‘Chef Harry’ Joseph; Distinguished Guests, Members of the SLHTA, Ladies & Gentlemen:
SLHTA President, doing the welcome remarks and Her Excellency Dame Pearlette kindly gracing the occasion with her distinguished patronage and Shirley Ann Cyril-Mayers singing the National Anthem why would I resist the call to join Eileen in celebrating the outstanding power of women?
Celebrated Canadian novelist Robertson Davies asserted rather wryly that “You are born with a job to do, and you must find it and do it, and there are no excuses for you if you fail through lack of perseverance.” No one else that I know of has better lived that dictum than the esteemed and evergreen Mrs. Eileen Paul; the doyenne of the SLHTA for 36 years and the central reason why we are gathered here tonight. To have served any institution so faithfully for almost four decades is a remarkable achievement in itself but to have done so cheerily and devotedly through its many periods of disappointment and despair is nothing short of exemplary. To have good naturedly counseled many aspiring tourism professionals over the years as part of the Miss SLHTA Pageant, the Annou Tjuit Sent Lisi cook-off and other SLHTA outreach programmes is testimony to her generosity and nurturing spirit ; To have worked with a long list of eminent SLHTA presidents from Ione Erlinger Ford to Anthony Bowen and many others in between such as Hamish Watson, Craig Barnard, Richard Michelin, Bill Stewart, Greg Glace, Noel Cadasse, Allen Chastanet, Colin Hunte and yours truly is indeed historic. Eileen’s longevity at the SLHTA perhaps can be attributable, among other things, to her understanding of the maxim from the book of Proverbs 15:1, which states that, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
And what a powerful woman Eileen Paul has turned out to be! The only girl among her siblings, she had to learn to defend herself from the mischievous antics of her brothers at an early age while also cultivating her femininity and distinct character, pursuing her education, assisting her mother in managing the household and dreaming of the life that girls her age imagine.
Yet, to have suffered so calmly, and with customary poise, the parade of colossal egos, prima donnas, prophets of doom and ‘snake oil salesmen’ that have populated the corridors of our tourism industry over the years is indeed saintly! Hence, when I was asked, at relatively short notice, to stand in for Tony Bowen who was originally supposed to do tonight’s tribute to Eileen but couldn’t make it due to other commitments, I unhesitatingly agreed. For not only was I the longest continuously serving SLHTA President who had the honour of working with her but I thought, with Karolin as BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
She first started in 1974 as a roving secretary of the then Saint Lucia Hotel Association (SLHA), moving ‘office’ from one hotel to another, as the Presidency rotated among the handful of hoteliers at that time . Of course, the SLHA was then not much more than a private club of sorts having been first established on November 22nd 1963 by Len Hardy and a group of 11 other locally based hotel pioneers who were brave enough to have persisted with the idea on that historic, if otherwise tragic, day of President John F Kennedy’s assassination. In came Eileen Ellis Paul eleven years after and the SLHA, which developed into the SLHTA in 1987, and has never been the same. Indeed, Eileen has become the iconic face of the SLHTA and her identity has been intimately intertwined with the institution ever since. She eventually became the Administrative Manager of the Association and held it together many a time when there was no chief executive and often without the required financial resources for facilitating such a challenging assignment. Eileen has not however been all work and no play. She has found time in between her professional duties to actively pursue her passion of singing. As a long serving member of the famous Bel Canto chorale, she could often be seen front and center at the group’s annual Christmas cantatas belting out the hymns and carols that we love so much, under the direction of Director Bailey and alongside many other well-known St. Lucians including Dame Pearlette (before her ascendancy to Government House); Ferrell “Bam’ Charles, Marjorie Lake, the late Sixtus Charles, Nadjla
Bailey, Oliver Scott senior and many more. She also found time to get involved with many charities and to volunteer her services either as a liaison officer, organizer or usher at many national and cultural activities. To this day, her daily chores do not begin without first taking care of her more than 100 year old mother even if it means foregoing her cherished morning group walk. Eileen is not known to have harbored an ill thought about a colleague and has seldom openly uttered a negative comment about her peers. Eileen officially retired from the SLHTA in October 2010 but continues to give freely of her time and experience particularly at major SLHTA functions. On December 17th 2010, the Board of Directors of the SLHTA honoured her longstanding and exemplary service by renaming its boardroom the Eileen Paul Boardroom. For her long, dedicated and meritorious service to the SLHTA and the wider tourism sector in St. Lucia, she was also officially inducted as an honorary lifetime SLHTA member, along with Chef Harry and Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson, at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the SLHTA on March 2nd this year. Mrs. Paul continues, in the words of Dylan Thomas to “not go gently into that good night, but rage… rage against the coming of the light...” She seems to have as packed a business and social schedule now as when she was employed full-time. Her many activities include attending her beloved church related activities, visiting old peoples’ and children’s homes, serving on the Board of Directors of the newly established Caribbean International Institute for Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts (CIIHMC), providing advice and counsel to many local institutions and projects and serving on the SLHTA’s events committee. Ladies and gentlemen, this is just a very modest overview of a lady who deserves much more and whose life work cannot be described in mere words. Please join me therefore in raising a toast to the one and only Mrs. Eileen Ellis Paul. ¤
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Executive Directors over the Years Executive Directors over the Years
Peter Hilary Modeste
SLHTA Exec Vice President
SLHTA Exec Vice President
SLHTA Exec Vice President
SLHTA Exec Vice President
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SLHTA Exec Vice President
2005 - 2006
SLHTA Exec Vice President
2009 - 2011
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The People at the SLHTA
The People at the SLHTA
Noorani Azeez Chief Executive Officer
Roderick Cherry Chief Operations Officer
Yola St. Jour Finance & Administration Officer
Nikka Swanson Human Resource Development Officer
Casheena Philip Accounts Clerk
Jamie Charmon Executive Assistant
Donette Ismael Liaison Officer Agriculture & Tourism
Wendel George Apprenticeship Coordinator
Francis Baeza Foreign Languages Facilitator BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Geannine Aimable Adminstrative Assistant
Chef’s Table – An Inspirational Approach to Leadership & Information Sharing
Chef’s Table – An Inspirational Approach to Leadership & Information Sharing
ow more than ever, the needs of our tourism industry are evolving. The SLHTA finds itself more consumed with research and analysis required to make informed input into policy and legislative matters. Increasingly the SLHTA is being sought after for recommendations on the way forward in growing our economy, making community contributions and charting the strategic direction for the growth of our industry. For far too many years, the cry of the industry has gone unheeded by other sectors and policy makers. Today, we still find ourselves unwilling to make the tough decisions needed to alter our course. As a means of ensuring continued contribution to this demand for input from key players, the SLHTA created a Chef’s Table forum, which has stood for almost as long as the SLHTA has been in operation. The Chef’s Table is essentially an “invitation only” gathering of hotel owners or their designates, key allied members, SLHTA directors and other stakeholders. The forum, which has grown in significance and participation over the past few years, receives presentations from key policy makers and technocrats on a variety of subject matters. The forum creates a much needed private and confidential forum for stronger dialogue and collaboration brokering between private and public sectors.
Over the years, a number of initiatives have been birthed from this gathering. Ranging from safety and security updates, human resource development projects, strengthening linkages and environmental initiatives to the creation of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, the Chef’s Table has become the melting pot and building ground of great ideas and initiatives to drive the evolution of our destination. Guided by a commitment to the development of a thriving Saint Lucian Tourism Industry, the Chef’s Table guarantees participants the highest degree of confidentiality and has become one of the best forums for information sharing and decision making at the SLHTA. Hoteliers express thoughts, ideas, concerns, and criticism openly, guided by technocrats invited to present information on the issues under discussion. For suppliers and sponsors eager to present their offerings to the tourism industry, the Chef’s Table is an excellent forum for capturing attention. The forum is hosted by one of the large hotel members of the SLHTA and is convened once a quarter. It is chaired by an elected peer from among the large hotel representatives who serves in this capacity for two years. The Chef’s Table is currently under the chairmanship of Winston Anderson of Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort. ¤ BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
GEARING UP FOR
and elevated Grenada on the chocolate radar of the world. Today we are potentially repeating the same errors in treating our tourism industry as a purely extractive industry – bringing visitors to these shores for sea and sun but not taking of those extra valueGearing Up For The Next 50 enough adding steps that will ensure stronger vertical integration and horizontal linkages with other sectors of the economy, with community. Imagine the possibilities for a more engaged tourism model in which local DR. DIDACUS JULES, cuisine and tradition, cultural therefore, DIRECTOR GENERAL, OECS practices, music, dance and I am taking festivals, community interaction your invitation to speak as a license to are all interwoven in a richer more question, not to criticize. So I truly hope immersive visitor experience. that the outcome would be that I have caused you to think differently about some Our economic history cannot continue to of the issues. be a chronicle of missed opportunity and “souffed” potential. Let me begin by making explicit the particular vision of tourism in the context The contribution of tourism to the national of the challenges of national development and regional economy is well known and in the age of globalization. The value of the they have often been cited to justify the world tourism industry was estimated to case for paying more attention to the sector. have been over US$10 trillion in 2013. It has The justification centres around the figures long moved away from its roots in tropical on contribution to GDP, employment, etc. recreation and a respite from cold climes. So we can start with complete agreement Global tourism is increasingly driven by the over the value of the industry to economic desire to see the world, understand the growth. The statistics, however, also world, and experience the diversity of the embrace some inconvenient truths that planet in all of its manifestations. In parallel are often sidestepped by the zealots of with this international evolution of the tourism and these include its contribution market, we have experienced the regional to our unacceptably high food import bill. movement from plantation to service economy with tourism assuming a place of What is critical however is that we prominence. We are now at a point where focus in this 50th year of the SLHTA on the reliance on monocrop agriculture the structural weaknesses, the missed has been superseded by a reliance on opportunities and the potential of the mono-service (tourism) industry. And just industry to be more than it has been. In as we failed then to take the monocrop as intensely competitive an industry as agricultural production model to the next this one, the lure of sand, sea and sun has level, we are in danger today of failing to long faded. In my view, the most critical optimize the mono-service economy to the imperative that needs to be addressed is next opportunity. Allow me to explain. In the challenge of differentiation. There are the 1980s, the noted Grenadian economist three interrelated dimensions to this: George Brizan wrote a seminal study on • Differentiation of place the cocoa industry in Grenada in which the • Differentiation of product following astounding facts were empirically • Differentiation of value presented: • That Grenada’s cocoa was almost Place exclusively exported as raw material to major higher end With so many new exotic destinations chocolate manufacturers, such as entering the market, we need to ask Cadbury, who used it as the quality ourselves what distinguishes our particular base in their chocolate production; geography. Africa and the Middle East was • He estimated that the value added the second most dynamic region for value on the actual export of Grenadian growth of luxury goods reaching US$15.2 cocoa exceeded the entire GDP of billion and predicted to grow 37%. What Grenada, and provided employment is the mystique of a place that creates a in factories abroad to a far larger compelling attraction to WANT to come? demographic of workers than the The competitiveness of geographies entire population of Grenada; ensures that it is no longer a case of “if you • And he proceeded to detail t h e build it they will come” … historically they scenario of how the local processing of have come, but the challenge now, is when high grade Grenadian cocoa could have they come, how do we keep them coming. created full higher value employment,
THE NEXT 50 FEATURE ADDRESS TO THE ST. LUCIA HOTEL & TOURISM ASSOCIATION ON THEIR 50th ANNIVERSARY
wish to first of all express my deep appreciation to the SLHTA for its kind invitation to address this milestone in its history and I crave your indulgence on two disclaimers. The first is that I am too new a kid on the OECS block to speak officially on behalf of the OECS on matters of tourism – much has happened and the first meeting of Ministers of Tourism was held only recently. The Chinese say that the longest journey begins with the first step, but the first step does not the journey make – ministerial meetings may reflect on challenges and review policy and strategic options for the industry as a whole. They are a necessary but insufficient effort condition for progress in an industry as intensely and globally competitive as this. There are vital additional steps that must be taken if our efforts are to yield the results that we seek. And a very important element – which is where I pick up the baton of the Director General – is to facilitate the inclusion of the voices and vision of key industry stakeholders in the shaping of that competitive response in the single economic space. If as is glibly asserted, tourism is everybody’s business, then the conversation about its future must involve all the relevant “everybodies”. Our job, therefore, at the OECS Commission is to initiate that conversation in which we can honestly dialogue, debate and debunk the issues in a search for consensus on an integrated way forward. This year marks the Golden Anniversary of the SLHTA. Fifty years is a marvellous milestone and you should be commended that this institution has stood the test of time. But while applauding the length of the distance travelled this far, let us be mindful that – on the road ahead – what got us this far will not take us to the next 10 years unless we understand and address the challenges ahead. My second disclaimer is that I do not believe in platitudes and when I am asked to speak on something, I consider it incumbent on me to challenge prevailing perspectives. A conversation which does not invite a re-thinking of one’s assumptions or which does not lay bare the discomforts that we know but avoid is simply a platitude. Tonight
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And once they are here, what do we need to do to ensure that the engagement of the visitor in the destination is optimized … which takes us to the differentiation of product.
Product What is the configuration of our tourism product? What are the things that will occupy, relax, enchant the tourist and do so in a manner that differentiates the experience from a vacation anywhere else? I guess what you in the industry would ask is what is the uniqueness of the visitor experience. In an age of homogeneity, it is the elements of differentiation that constitute the niche.
Value Value for money is a competitive driver in this differentiation. Whatever the price point and the cost, the visitor must leave with the comfort that the experience was well worth their money spent, but even so we cannot take this price point for granted. The Middle East has been reinventing the notion of business class luxury at reasonable cost and this will increasingly have dramatic implications for the rest of the global market as the penchant for luxury becomes infectious. Forty percent of the hotels in Dubai are luxury (4- and 5-star hotels) and on airlines such Emirates and Qatar Airways, their economy class environment is the equivalent of British Airways business class! The Tourism Benchmarking and Competitiveness Assessment that was undertaken for Saint Lucia in 2013 highlights the issue of offering value for money as a critical factor to be addressed in order to enhance the destination’s competitiveness. The report highlights Jamaica’s positioning as an affordable destination in the Caribbean, in contrast to Saint Lucia and reveals that its success has been due to the offering of a product at a price that represents good value for money and is affordable. According to the report: “While having leading international hotels, St. Lucia has a real challenge in terms of the overall quality of its accommodation offer.” Here are some revealing highlights of that report: • St. Lucia has 4,750 rooms divided into hotels (4,277), apartments/villas (392) and guesthouses (131). • Room capacity has decreased in St. Lucia (compound annual growth rate of 3%) over the past five years, while Barbados, BVI, Jamaica and Mauritius have grown. • St. Lucia’s occupancy rate is 58.3%. • Historically in St. Lucia, All-Inclusives have performed better than small properties and European Plan hotels in terms of occupancy rates (AI: 67%; EP: 60%; Small Properties: 57%).
• • • • •
Hotel supply in St. Lucia is mainly represented by upscale hotels and luxury boutique hotels. It has some of the most iconic and best luxury hotels in the Caribbean. 33% of total room stock in St. Lucia is part of a branded hotel. Compared with Barbados (9%) and Jamaica (8%), St. Lucia has a high concentration of rooms in one brand: Sandals accounts for 19% of the hotel room stock. St. Lucia and Antigua have the highest ADR among the benchmarked destinations (US$207 and US$218 respectively). St. Lucia has the third highest revenue per available room (US$120) among the benchmarked destinations, penalized by the low occupancy (Jamaica is US$65.50).
Given these trends, it was indeed encouraging to hear in the recently delivered 2014 budget statement that the St. Lucia Tourist Board along with the Ministry of Tourism and the SLHTA will collaborate in providing needed assistance and training to small properties. It is anticipated that training for small hotel owners will occur every quarter. Some of the assistance to be provided would range from enhancing the décor of the properties to increasing or establishing a web presence (marketing). In light of the global economic contractions, customers are seeking value for money; we need to be strategically poised to offer that value. An interesting report was recently released by Lodging Econometrics, a research and consulting firm in the United States, about recent trends in hotel development. The report stated that U.S. hotel developers are investing less in luxury properties, as the cost of providing high-end amenities rises whilst profit margins decline. According to the report, the RevPAR at luxury properties was $202 in 2012, down from the 2007 high of $213. According to the report, only six luxury hotels are expected to open their doors in 2013 in the United States. Unlike 2012 and 2013, development in the luxury market in 2011 was high with 23 hotels opened during that year. This is an interesting and curious contrast to the experience of the Gulf States and, to a lesser extent, other Asian destinations where investment in luxury is raising the bar and the expectation on conservative spend. This trend reflects the changes in consumer behaviour post-recession. Before the recession, consumers were willing to pay high prices for a five-star luxury experience, but since the financial downturn, most consumers are and have a maximum room rate in mind, that they won’t exceed.
The Saint Lucia scenario reveals similar trends. In 2011, the occupancy rate for luxury properties was 69%, reducing to 58% in 2012; (and 66% at 2013).
The OECS Many Islands, One Sea While there is some measure of scepticism among the Caribbean public about the will to integrate, the reality is that the OECS countries have walked much further and faster along that road. The inescapable reality of our condition is that none of these islands can expect to solve the intractable problems that we all commonly face by themselves. Common and complex problems require converged, integrated and collective solutions. Treaties by themselves are simply indications of intent, but in the Revised Treaty of Basseterre, which declares the OECS as a single economic space, there is much possibility. The treaty establishes the framework for a convergence of effort under which both competition and collaboration can contend. It is not however as simple as competition or collaboration but a challenge of finding strategic purpose, opportunity and balance in the creative tension between the two. We are very good at competing against each other, but not as adept at collaborating with each other. In the tourism sector, some hard policy options will have to be made in light of the fiscal constraints faced by governments and these options must be illuminated by empirical data. The fact that air arrivals in St. Lucia spend 23 times more money than cruise arrivals is something that must be factored into opportunity cost decisions. We at the OECS Commission have started working closely with Ministers of Tourism to focus on the implications of some indicators to guide policy and investment. Improving the competitiveness of the sector in the OECS involves action on 10 specific indicators – HR, product and marketing, investment climate, transportation, environment, safety and security among others. As I stated at the beginning of this address, the most important thing, however, that we can do is to create the mechanisms and the opportunity for wide-ranging conversation leading to a consensual vision plan of how we can optimize tourism in the single economic space. Let me end with reiterated congratulations to the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association on its 50th and to wish you critical foresight, nimble strategy and vigour of will as you face the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead. ¤
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SLHTA Partners With Nagico & Launches Group Insurance Program
SLHTA Partners With Nagico & Launches Group Insurance Program
he driving force behind the tourism industry in Saint Lucia is, without a doubt, our workers. Whether persons are directly or indirectly employed in tourism-related businesses, guest feedback celebrates the hard work and commitment provided by dedicated employees each day to ensure that Saint Lucia maintains our edge in a highly competitive global tourism industry. The industry, however, faces complex challenges rendering it highly vulnerable to certain risks and shocks. For many of our employees, inadequate healthcare, coupled with insufficient financing for medical insurance to reduce healthcare costs for themselves and their families, represents one such shock. In 2013, the Chief Executive Officer of the SLHTA, Noorani Azeez, began championing the need for Group Medical Insurance for industry employees and spearheaded discussions with CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers to create a solution to this burning concern. One year later, after numerous meetings with stakeholders and review of tenders from a number of insurance providers, the SLHTA Group Medical Insurance Program was birthed, with the primary objectives being to provide the best medical insurance benefits at an affordable rate and readily available to ALL employees of SLHTA member companies. The program was an immediate hit with members. With outreach and registration efforts led by SLHTA representative Jamie Charmon, the program, over the course of a year, enrolled more BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
than one thousand employees and eligible dependents with many businesses opting to abandon their existing schemes and join the SLHTA Group Medical program. Workers celebrated the revolutionary program, which currently offers benefits ranging from group life, accidental death and dismemberment, medical, dental and vision as well as preventive healthcare benefits. Earlier this year, the SLHTA introduced an additional tier of membership called its Independent Employee Member category, which allows for employees themselves to become members of SLHTA, even if the companies at which they are employed are not SLHTA members. This level of membership is available to employees for a membership fee of $60 EC dollars per year. As an SLHTA member, these employees will be eligible for all the benefits of the SLHTA, including access to the Group Medical Insurance Plan. Only in its second year of operations, the plan was revised this year to increase the threshold of benefits to policy holders and expand the menu of offerings on major medical limits, deductibles, reimbursement for doctor visits, maternity benefits, and airfare benefits among many others. The SLHTA is continuing its outreach to encourage more persons to sign up for the Group Medical Insurance Program. Please call Jamie Charmon at 453-1811 for further information. Â¤
VACH Building Linkages with Agriculture and Tourism VACH Building Linkages with Agriculture and Tourism
t has been more than a decade since tourism became the lifeline of Caribbean economies. In 2012, the tourism sector accounted for more than 36% of the GDP of the island and has seen an increase over the years; on the other hand a once-thriving agricultural sector has unfortunately not been able to celebrate a similar fate; moreover the agricultural sector is in need of dire intervention. In a CARICOM report on St. Lucia’s agricultural sector the organization noted that, “Agriculture continues to be a critical sector for St. Lucia although its contribution to GDP has been steadily declining over the last 10 years. The sector contributed approximately 3.1% to the GDP in 2014. The country is a net-food importing country, with a growing trade deficit in its food bill over the last 10 years.” This has adversely affected the population of the country especially in rural communities where agriculture is the predominant source of income. It has forced many into living unsavory lives and, furthermore, there has been a disturbing increase in social and economic issues, which affect all spheres of the St. Lucian populace. Nevertheless, rural poverty is a plight that is faced not only by St. Lucia and the Caribbean but also the wider world. Reducing poverty and unemployment is a task that continues to plague governments. This alarming state of affairs is what drove the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) to adopt as one of its key mandates the overall building and strengthening of agricultural/tourism linkages. The SLHTA seeks to create a marriage of the two sectors. Coming out of discussions with industry leaders, the SLHTA has identified a multimillion-dollar opportunity for the local farming sector. This prospect would be a much needed revenue injection into a much beleaguered industry. To capitalize on such opportunities, the association found it fitting to employ someone who will work intimately with stakeholders in both industries in an effort to further close the gap between them. In early 2016, the SLHTA appointed Agriculture/Tourism Liaison Officer, Donette Ismael, who has been working assiduously to develop initiatives targeted at strengthening this relationship. One of the key initiatives stemming from these efforts is
the implementation of a Virtual Agricultural Clearing House (VACH) program. The VACH is an electronic platform on which hotels, restaurants and food and beverage distributors obtain information on the availability of crops, thereby facilitating an increase in the sale of local produce and encouraging import substitution. Since the creation of the VACH in April this year, the SLHTA has spared no efforts to ensure the success of this platform in connecting farmers and hoteliers to negotiate trade of local fruits and vegetables. While it is still too early to assess the full potential of this strategy, some of the key successes of the VACH is clearly the interest expressed by farmers to participate. The platform currently allows for over 400 farmers to readily notify hotels of availability of produce and in return receive timely requests from hotels of items in demand. Data compiled for primarily five crops currently traded on the VACH platform indicates total revenue of $127,044.70 over a three-month period. This is a total of 42,318 pounds of produce sold. Pineapple sales account for 64% ($81,704.00) of that revenue. These figures are reflective of reported purchases made directly between farmers and hotels/food and beverage distributors. These sales are from a small representation of the hospitality sector (1,600 rooms) participating in the program. It is important to note that the data collected were for a period during which visitor arrivals are traditionally low. Nevertheless, the results are encouraging. Other great strides are being made via the VACH. The SLHTA has established strategic alliances with farming co-operatives, food and beverage distributors and partnerships with developmental institutions such as Rise Saint Lucia Inc., to provide training support for young farmers in growing organic crops under a project called the Good Food Revolution program. The gradual increase in purchasing of local agricultural produce by the hospitality sector signifies a reduction in the importation bill. This is tourism dollars directly in the pockets of our farmers creating a ripple of positive effects for the economy of St. Lucia. This is just the first step in fulfilling some of the mandates of the VACH ¤ BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
‘Chefs in Schools’ Gives Students Hands-On Opportunity
‘Chefs in Schools’ gives students hands-on opportunity
aint Lucia’s very own Nina Compton proved to the world as the Season 11 Runner Up and Fan Favourite on “Top Chef” that not only is Saint Lucia one of the top travel destinations in the Caribbean, it also has a plethora of hidden talents. Since then, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) has been determined to find these hidden gems by starting a school outreach programme named “Chefs in Schools”, which is aimed at providing students with hands-on experience working with chefs in the hospitality industry. The programme was formulated around the goal of educating and supporting Saint Lucia’s aspiring students that have shown a keen interest in the culinary arts. The students are taught about the local cuisine on the island as well as encouraged to use the many local ingredients found in Saint Lucia. The SLHTA stands firm in its commitment to help our youth by reaching towards their future with such innovative and inspiring programmes. So far, Chefs in Schools has proven to be very beneficial, not only in students learning about their local culture, but what is available for them to flourish and grow in society. The programme has been well received by all the participating schools and has morphed into an annual competition called the “Chefs in School Cook-off Competition”. Wendel George, Apprenticeship Coordinator at the SLHTA, said the association is “very pleased” with the progress of the program. “Every year we visit six to eight schools where the chefs would do a two-segment program with the students,” George explained.
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“The first part is the theoretical segment that highlights the tourism industry and the opportunities available in that industry. The second segment is a practical segment where the chefs would guide the students in preparing a one- or two-course meal that would be a main course and a dessert meal. It was from that program that the Chefs in Schools Cook-off originated.” The SLHTA and those involved with the progression leading up to awarding the champions for 2016 are very proud of the students and how they represented themselves at the 2016 Annual Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge and Conference in Barbados. Winners Megan Felicien and Micheala Poleon, students of the Ciceron Secondary School, proudly walked away with Gold for Overall Performance in the Mystery Basket Round and the Signature Dish Round, second place in the final round for the Mystery Basket, and the Spirit of the Competition Award. Poleon said it took hard work to get them the medal both locally and regionally. “I am proud of myself and my partner. We went through some hard training, and it was tough because we had to balance school and afterschool activities. We had to go to training, and training was about three hours long,” Poleon said. The 2016 Chefs in Schools program is sponsored by Bank of Saint Lucia, and the Tourism Enhancement Fund – a fund established by the SLHTA to which guests staying at member hotels voluntarily contribute. The SLHTA said the event gives students an opportunity to develop their skills and showcase their talents. The association has expressed gratitude to all chefs, hotels and restaurants who have dedicated their time to training the various teams. ¤
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Honorary Members Honorary Members Edward ‘Chef Harry’ Joseph In 2011, ‘Chef Harry’, as he is affectionately known, was officially inducted as an Honorary Member of the SLHTA for his long, selfless and dedicated service to the SLHTA, the tourism sector and the wider community in St. Lucia. Mr. Joseph’s lifelong contribution to the development of the industry’s human resources, culinary arts and hospitality sectors was formally acknowledged and celebrated by the SLHTA. The award was made amidst a number of the chef’s peers, colleagues and well-wishers.
Eileen Paul Eileen Paul officially retired from the SLHTA in October, 2010, but continued to give freely of her time and experience particularly at major SLHTA functions until her death in 2015. On December 17th 2010, the Board of Directors of the SLHTA honoured her longstanding and exemplary service by renaming its boardroom the Eileen Paul Boardroom. For her long, dedicated and meritorious service to the SLHTA and the wider tourism sector in St. Lucia, she was also officially inducted as an honorary lifeline SLHTA member, along with Chef Harry and Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson , at the 47th Annual General Meeting of the SLHTA.
Kingley Powlette A hotelier, restaurant owner, cultural activist and community action person, Mr. Powlette has given yeoman service to the SLHTA in his capacity as Member of the Board of Directors, Chairman of the SLHTA Training Committee and Chairman of the MISS SLHTA Committee. Mr. Powlette thought nothing of undertaking weekly trips from Vieux Fort to Castries to the SLHTA office to attend meetings and ensure that his committees fulfilled its mandate. His community activities are well documented, having been involved with the Carnival Committee in the South, the Southern Tourism Development Committee, and the Disaster Preparedness Committee.
Teresa Hall An educator and cultural activist, her group, The Helen Folk Dancers, has kept the tradition alive and delighted many a visitor to our shores. Her dedication to preserving the culture has spurred her on to organise Creole dress festivals and violin competitions on a regular basis. Her group has also toured the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. She continues to train young persons in the art form and currently has junior, intermediate and senior groups – all of whom attend regular workshops. Many a St. Lucian lady can boast of owning a formal Creole national wear outfit, due to the prominence of the Helen Folk Dancers. Currently, Mrs. Hall has put out a challenge for national wear for men.
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Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson As a musician, producer, arranger, composer and performer, Ronald ‘Boo’ Hinkson has been making sweet music in his homeland, ‘Simply Beautiful’ St. Lucia, for more than three decades. His mother was instrumental in his early musical development having taught him to play the guitar. Growing up as an island boy, listening to jazz, provided the background for fusing jazz with the Caribbean rhythms evidenced by his approach to music. His unique styling on the guitar moves from one musical genre to another with consummate ease. His first solo CD, Alive and Well, was released in 1995, containing a blend of jazz with a Caribbean and R&B twist. He later released a calypso album featuring Trinidadian and St. Lucian artists. He has written songs for both himself and others, falling under the varied genres of reggae, calypso, soca, R&B and blues. One of his reggae songs made it on the British reggae charts in 1998. Mr. Hinkson was formally inducted as an SLHTA Honorary Member in 2011 for his distinguished contribution to the development of music on the island and the outstanding promotion of the destination overseas. An icon in his own right, Mr. Hinkson has opened for guitar greats such as George Benson and Kenny Burell.
Veronica Shingleton-Smith Mention landscaping and the person who comes to mind is Veronica ShingletonSmith, who retired from teaching at St. Joseph’s Convent. She has had over 40 years’ experience in the business, having began her landscaping career at Cunard La Toc Hotel. Her signature can be seen throughout her length and breadth of St. Lucia, from Cap Estate in the North to Soufriere in the West, to Vieux Fort in the South. Landscaping for hotels has been her specialty for decades. Adding to her extensive repertoire, Ms. Shingleton-Smith presented us with Mamiku Gardens, a botanical garden where one can find peace and serenity, rare tropical plants, Creole medicinal herbs, bird watching, hiking trails, and the list goes on.
Chef Nina Compton-Miller Nina Compton is a native of St. Lucia and the daughter of Sir John and Lady Janice Compton. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (2001) and began her professional journey at Daniel in New York City, working and learning alongside Daniel Boulud and Alex Lee. After moving to Miami, she had the privilege of working alongside South Florida’s top toques including Norman Van Aken at Norman’s and Philippe Ruiz at Palme d’Or. Eventually, Chef Compton was recruited to Casa Casuarina (the former Versace Mansion), a private club and intimate boutique hotel in Miami Beach, where she rose from Sous Chef to Executive Chef at the exclusive, highly acclaimed restaurant. The excitement behind the renovation of the famed Fontainebleau Miami Beach in 2008, combined with the chance to work with Scott Conant at Scarpetta, lured Chef Compton to the iconic property where she joined the pre-opening team as Sous Chef. For over three years she continued to excel as a chef, becoming a key member of Scarpetta’s culinary team. Chef Compton took over the lead role in the Scarpetta kitchen in 2012, introducing new menu items while maintaining the restaurant’s high standards and four-star rating. She also placed in the top two of Top Chef’s 11th season, and won fan favourite. BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund
SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund
ourism Enhancement Funds are not new to the Caribbean. A few minutes of searching the internet will reveal very effective variants across the region, many of which share similar objectives. In 2013, as the SLHTA continued discussions with Government on enhancing the competitiveness of member companies, the Tourism Enhancement Fund was birthed as a voluntary fund set up by the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc. (SLHTA) to make a greater contribution to projects and activities which add value to the local tourism industry and generate benefits to the various stakeholders who derive economic wellbeing from its growth. The TEF was proposed by the SLHTA Secretariat as a means of allowing the members of the SLHTA greater control of its own pool of financial resources to support activities of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, undertake local product development projects and private sector initiatives designed to strengthen Saint Lucia’s Tourism product and strengthen the economic environment needed for the local tourism private sector to thrive.
The Fund is financed by guests of the accommodation sector on a voluntary basis through a charge of two US dollars (USD $2) per room night placed on their bill at check out, collected by the Hotels and remitted to the SLHTA. The Fund is managed by nine (9) trustees comprising six (6) representatives of properties contributing to the TEF while (3) three trustees are representatives from the public service including the Permanent Secretary of Finance, Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism. The Board of Trustees meets on a bi-monthly basis to monitor contribution levels, consider all applications for funding support and approve applications to be funded and prescribe amounts of funding allocated to each activity. The Fund considers financial support of initiatives such as: BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
• Community development initiatives • Boosting the tourism industry’s productivity levels • Increasing the competitiveness of Saint Lucia’s tourism product • Destination promotion activities • Sub-sector development such as heritage, culture, strengthening linkages etc. • Human Resource development of Industry Employees To date the TEF has funded over 100 projects. Some of the notable project are listed below.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
SLHTA Apprenticeship Programme Island Destination Promotion EXPEDIA campaign Media Symposium Agri-Symposium Small Hotel Promotions (Visitor Channel) Sponsorship of Manager Mentorship Programme French Language Training for Hospitality Industry Workers French Training for Hospitality Industry Workers Leadership Training for Industry Workers HACCP training Wines of the World Training Training Videos on IETV Sponsorship for Bay Fest Street Festival Sponsorship for training on 5 things an entrepreneur needs to know • Cost Control Training - Lisa Beckles • Tourism Linkages & Networking Forum
• Rodney Bay Safety Enhancement Project • Wilton’s Yard Training Project • Health Promotion & Safety
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Rodney Bay Beautification Project* Rodney Bay Demarcation Project Pli Belle Komin Project Christmas Hampers (2014) Refurbishment of CCSS Food 7 Nutrition Room Canaries Relief Effort/ 2013 Trough Victims Support Sandals/ SLHTA Partnership- Sick Kids’ Initiative Uniforms for the National Netball Team Support for Taste of the Caribbean 2014 Team Support for Taste of the Caribbean 2015Team Support for Taste of the Caribbean 2016Team Social Transformation Community After School Programme Marketing Material for SBDC Model for Saint Lucia Support for Grooming Programme- Cutty Ranks Support for Volleyballer’s Participation in International Competition Support for Chefs in Schools Sponsorship of four flights for US Coaches to train Soufriere Football Camp Support through NCPC for training of Mini Bus Drivers Support for Jus Sail Youth Training Programme Electrical Works for lighting for Gros Islet Street party Sponsorship for Swawe Kweyol Event - Ministry of Tourism Dominica Relief Efforts contribution Tourism Safety Unit Social Transformation After School Programme Christmas Hampers (2015) Sponsorship for ZIKA Training (nurses) and members Sponsorship for Youth Steel Pan training Sponsorship - RISE St. Lucia - Good Food Revolution Project Sponsorship MERCURY BEACH Sponsorship of IN2care Mosquito traps. Agri- Tourism linkages Virtual Agriculture Clearing House
(VACH) • Rise St. Lucia Inc The good Food Revolution • Gros Islet Tourism Rehabilitation Project
The success of the TEF would not have been made possible without the tremendous support provided by the hotels which encourage visitors and team members to support the initiative. The hotels which have made significant contributions to the TEF last year include the following: • Bay Gardens Hotel • Bay Gardens Inn • Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa • Hotel Chocolat Estate • Rendezvous • Royal by Rex Resorts • St. James’ Club Morgan Bay Saint Lucia • Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa and Beach Resort • Sandals Halcyon Beach St. Lucia • Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort and Spa in Saint Lucia • St Lucian by Rex Resort • The Body Holiday Le Sport • Ti Kaye Resort & Spa • Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa • Anse Chastanet Resort • Jade Mountain Resort • Cap Maison • Coco Palm Resort • The Landings St. Lucia • Windjammer Landings Villa Beach Resort and Spa • Habitat Terrace • Calabash Cove Resort and Spa • Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort ¤
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Training Programs Designed for Industry Demand
Training Programs Designed for Industry DemandS By: Kirk Elliott
peak to employers today about employee performance in the workplace and a consistent lament is heard: A vast majority of employees and prospective employees are ill prepared for today’s world of work. This problem is not unique to Saint Lucia, the wider Caribbean nor even some of the more developed countries in other parts of the world. In an effort to address this situation, the Ministry of Education through its Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) unit, in conjunction with the International Labour Organization (ILO), launched the Hospitality Industry Advisory Committee (HiAC) in November, 2015. HiAC is a 15-member body comprising industry professionals from the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Education, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, a number of hotels across Saint Lucia, hospitality industry entrepreneurs as well as non-hospitality professionals from organisations such as Saint Lucia Electricity Services (Lucelec).
decisions, the importance of supporting and promoting these indigenous businesses is not only clear, but also an unexpected find that HiAC has made. Preliminary indications point to the importance as well as the timeliness of HiAC’s work and HiAC is currently on a sensitization drive to share with Saint Lucia the fact that there is hope for us all. However, for this hope to be transmuted into meaningful gain, we must first complete our mission of identifying both the challenges as well as the opportunities before us. We must then work together to effect the change that is necessary to fixing the problems and in so doing make Saint Lucia a better place for us all, socially as well as economically. ¤
HiAC’s mandate is to comprehensively review the challenges that contribute to the disconnect between the human capital produced by Saint Lucia’s current education system and the real and actual needs of hospitality industry employers. HiAC must then use this information to advise the Ministry of Education on a revised/updated curriculum specifically aimed at remedying these deficiencies. HiAC’s members are extremely motivated, having come to truly appreciate the enormity of the challenge at hand. The committee’s findings point to a lack of “soft skills”, including but not limited to: deportment, punctuality, attitude to authority, disagreement management and conflict resolution inter alia. Hindrances to small scale entrepreneurship have also come to light, highlighting the fact that many businesses that are highly rated on online review sites are completely unknown and unrepresented in the island’s official tourism offerings. With Nielsen, the global information, data and measurement company, reporting that 92% of worldwide consumers state that they trust earned media such as word of mouth above all others, and 70% of overall consumers reporting that online consumer reviews (such as those found on TripAdvisor), most influence their BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
About the author As HiAC’s Public Awareness Officer, Kirk Elliott is charged with the responsibility of sensitizing the public to the committee’s work so that the public becomes an active participant in effecting the change that everyone agrees is so desperately needed. Check out StLuciaByKirk.com or contact him at Kirk@KirkElliott.com
Take a trip back in time
Award Winning Rums From
Pigeon Island National Landmark
St. Lucia Distillers
Visit the historic
St. Lucia Distillers
St Lucia National Trust
Perfect for tours, snorkelling, hiking, weddings and other special events Open 9AM - 5PM everyday, including holidays Contact us today: email@example.com www.slunatrust.org â€˘ (758) 452-5005
Like us on FACEBOOK
www.saintluciarums.com BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
The Story Behind Splash Island Water Park Saint Lucia
The Story Behind Splash Island Water Park Saint Lucia
he Caribbean’s first ever open water sports park, Splash Island Water Park Saint Lucia, opened on August 1st, 2015 with many excited patrons eager to be the first to try out a brand new experience that would change the face of tourism on the island of Saint Lucia. Splash Island Water Park, which is located at Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa on Reduit Beach, is an inflatable park manufactured by Wibit Sports GmBH, a German company who has been producing commercial grade inflatable water sports products for over 18 years. The park features over a dozen attractions including monkey bars, the Ice Berg XXL climbing wall, the Action tower, the cliff, a trampoline, the curve, the double rocker, the high roller, the balance beam, a water volleyball court, hurdles, a wiggle bridge and the spinner. Each feature is in compliance with the strictest of European safety requirements and testing related to the materials and its performance. The water park is also staffed by a team of highly certified lifeguards and all patrons must be at least six years old, and are required to wear a life vest irrespective of their swimming abilities. Splash Island Water Park was conceptualized in March, 2015, by Bay Gardens Resorts Director, Julianna Ward-Destang, a chartered accountant turned theme park entrepreneur whose desire and vision to bring a novel, fun and safe attraction to her native island of Saint Lucia has completely transformed the atmosphere of one of the most popular beaches. In early January, 2016, Ward-Destang was nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year at the annual Saint Lucia Business Awards and on January 24th, she successfully won the award, joining her mother-in-law as two of the most influential entrepreneurs on island. In its first week, the park welcomed more than 1,300 visitors, who raved about the fun new addition to Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay Village. With over 100 rave reviews, and over 33,000 likes on Facebook, most described the experience as “loads of fun” and “exciting and safe for all”. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
In November, 2015, the Caribbean’s wettest attraction introduced new competitive and fun contests. These were “The Annual Splash Island Ninja Warrior Competition” for adults, and “Splash Island Olympics”, for children 17 and under. These competitions saw various teams come together in time trials, individual relays and volleyball in the true spirit of sportsmanship. The events were also lots of fun for many spectators, who also wanted to get on and try out all the features. On January 1st, 2016, after welcoming over 10,000 patrons, the park decided to offer six onehour complimentary passes to any guest staying at Bay Gardens Resorts’ three award-winning properties with no minimum requirements. This gave guests who booked a Bay Gardens Resorts experience the chance to enjoy the open water park. In May, 2016, Splash Island expanded for the summer season, by including three brand new features for even more exciting and fun challenges. These features were the Curve, the High Roller and the Balance Beam. On August 1st, 2016 the park celebrated its one-year anniversary with special guest artists and many giveaways for patrons. Managing Director Ward-Destang, truly believes in giving back to the community, and since its opening, has given over 1,000 underprivileged children the opportunity to use the park for free. The park has also partnered with organizations like the Caribbean Premiere League (CPL), the Boys Training Centre and the Holy Family Children’s home to ensure that every child can have the opportunity to share in the excitement. Splash Island will continue to support worthy causes and partners with many local organizations. Ward-Destang and the team encourage all kids, thrill seekers, families and weekend warriors alike to experience the thrills, spills, exciting features and unforgettable fun you can have at the Caribbean’s first and wettest attraction, Splash Island Water Park Saint Lucia. For more information visit www.saintluciawaterpark.com or call (758)-457-8532. ¤
The National Archives gives lectures to schools and other non-proﬁt groups.
Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, Hon. Derek Walcott & National Archivist Mrs. Margot Thomas
National Gallery; Paid Tours Available Research Library
General Research can be conducted on any aspect of Saint Lucia’s history using primary sources such as government files and secondary sources including periodicals, books, newspapers and more. This is a free service.
Patrons can access primary sources including civil status, and land registers. Because of the fragility of these records, only Archives staff can access the information. Searches can be conducted for records pertaining to birth, death, marriage, wills and deeds. Family research can be conducted and family trees constructed. This is a paid service.
National Archives staff
• Twin Peaks of Excellence: Saint Lucia’s Nobel Laureates • From Slavery to Freedom: Some aspects of the impact of slavery on Saint Lucia • Paintings and Profiles: National Portrait Gallery of Saint Lucia • Pioneers and Forerunners: Saint Lucia’s First Ladies
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES COLLECTION
The collection consists of government files, registers, photographs, portraits, paintings, plans and maps. The 1787 Le Fort de Tour map is the oldest record. There are deeds dating back to 1807. There is also a newspaper collection from the 1800’s - present.
P.O. Box 3060 Clarke Avenue, Vigie Castries, Saint Lucia Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. •
Tel: (758) 452-1654 / 453-2519 Fax: (758) 453-1405
Friday 8:30 to 2:00 p.m
St. Lucia National Archives
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
The SLHTA and Government: An Important Partnership for the Success of our Tourism Industry By Noorani Azeez and Karolin Troubetzkoy
The SLHTA and Government: An Important Partnership for the Success of our Tourism Industry
t is no secret that Tourism holds the greatest potential for driving economic growth, boosting employment and balancing our annual budget. The challenge is that while every major international organization echoes these sentiments, many small island developing states are still left far behind when it comes to making critical changes in legislation and creating incentives to stimulate investment. The SLHTA is pleased to note the Saint Lucian Government’s initiatives to address these shortcomings and welcome efforts to revise our Tourism Incentives Act, support marketing initiatives aimed at assisting small hotels and a willingness to discuss nontraditional solutions and partnerships to grow this important industry. If we are to compete effectively on the international arena however, we can’t stop here. More needs to be done to address travel restrictions, immigration bottlenecks, raising service standards and enacting stronger regulations and laws to address visitor safety and security. Resources must also be put into product development and workforce re-training to strengthen competitiveness and productivity of businesses and the destination. While strong demand seems to exist for the destination, limited access to affordable airlift and high cost of accommodation continues to be disincentives for interested visitors seeking affordable vacations. The SLHTA renews its commitment to forging public/private sector partnerships aimed at addressing these challenges. Over the coming years we look forward to working with the respective Ministries, community stakeholders as well as international partners towards the creation of a more inviting investment climate. For success to be derived, partnership will have to be the underlying solution. For partnership to be successful however, trust and goodwill will have to be nurtured and demonstrated at every opportunity. We must take great care not to make decisions which are expedient in the short term but which will have disastrous long term ramifications. Too many neighboring islands are suffering because of policy BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
makers’ unwillingness to listen to the private sector. We must take great care to ensure we do not follow in these steps. Our destination remains uncompetitive in the global scheme of things and our service standards and product offerings are still playing catch up to that of our competitors in other destinations. To get different results, we must start doing things differently. The SLHTA is pleased to renew our commitment to the ongoing debate on the possible solutions and stand ready to commit our resources to hosting a Tourism Summit aimed at finding these solutions. One such meeting alone will surely not address all the issues but it will be a great start in opening the debate further for other stakeholders to make an input.
At every opportunity we must remind ourselves that Governments do not create jobs, their role is to create an enabling environment in which the private sector can confidently invest and create these jobs. What we need to champion now, more than ever, is the creation of that enabling environment. We must seek out best practices wherever they exist and learn from them. We must also be willing to openly discuss the issues and harmonize the various perspectives in pursuit of possible solutions. In the interest of a struggling private sector and the many livelihoods which depend on the success of these firms, we must have these discussions and find these solutions, soon. While Tourism continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world, the challenge for Caribbean Islands such as ours to become and remain competitive amidst this global demand for tourist dollars gets increasingly critical. It would seem that almost every country in the world is now looking to Tourism to diversify their economy and the margin of error in how we position ourselves as small Caribbean countries is getting ever smaller. In light of this, we must transcend the debate on the importance of Tourism to our economy and start focusing on how we can grow foreign investment in our island and enhance our competitiveness through
partnerships and collaboration. Failure to do this will certainly impact negatively on the 30,000 local jobs indirectly created and supported by Tourist dollars. On the agenda of priorities for consideration we must consider the demands of our guests and the cruel reality that sun, sea and sand are no longer in as great demand as it was 20 years ago. Today the emerging needs of our guests must guide how we position our destination and inform our marketing efforts. We must encourage the local debate on how we develop our destination to take advantage of opportunities such as sports tourism, eco-tourism, health and wellness and the global demand for meetings and incentives services as well as others. Every citizen of Saint Lucia must be engaged in this discussion to ensure collective ownership of the strategies crafted on the way forward. On the international front, we are still faced with the challenges of external shocks including more competitive emerging markets, airlift and climate change. All these issues impact our visitor arrivals in a negative way and we are therefore charged with finding innovative ways of adjusting. Locally, issues of taxation of the industry, standardization, safety and security, increasing costs of operations, absence of certain skills development programmes, regulation of tourism related services and community participation in the benefits of tourism are all topics being discussed but which must be addressed more specifically by our citizenry. We much join hands to generate mutually beneficial solutions to these challenges. Rest assured that there are no quick fixes to the problems facing our industry as the issues which threaten us are many in number, complex in nature and far reaching in scope. Solutions will only come out of effective public and private sector partnerships, sharing of information and the application of increasingly scarce resources more effectively. The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association reiterates its willingness to work with all stakeholders to generate the level of strategic thinking needed to improve the yield from tourism and strengthen its social and economic value. ¤
Tourism - OpenING Doors to Opportunity for Service Providers
By: John S. Mathurin
Tourism Open Doors to Opportunity for Service Providers
he Industry of Tourism is the largest, fastest growing and serves every nation on earth, generating more revenue than most countries combined. It caters for one-third of global service trade and provide unlimited opportunities in the process of its dynamic evolution. Tourism involves communities, territories, cultures, people, enterprises, environment, heritage and even energy management. Environment (with its broad and lateral meanings) is a quintessential driver in tourism and destination development. Tourists travel for almost infinite reasons, chief among them to experience diversity. Through tourism, St Lucia welcomes, receives, hosts and processes multitudes of short stay visitors; each bringing with them expectations, cultures, influences and identities that differ from ours. By its very construct, tourism has a double-sided impact on society. It can engender globalization and homogenization of our fragile yet unique environment, causing possible loss of identity and culture. Carefully developed and managed, however, instead of being a risk to local identity, tourism can be a useful tool to preserve, accentuate and even recrudesce diminishing identity. Community tourism, for example, is one key dimension doing just that. Community Tourism can promote peace, understanding and respect through meaningful exchanges. Opportunities Conventional tourism construct already provides almost unquantifiable opportunities through direct and peripheral employment. Our society is sectoral in construct and interests, yet all are interrelated, intertwined and interdependent; creating an indispensable symbiosis. So too are the opportunities they portend. Technology and the Internet have gifted destinations and attractions with much needed awareness. People take breaks to refresh and relax or may travel for psychological, social and other needs. Tourism service providers are cognizant of the motivating factors for travel and have categorized these into different forms of tourism. The more popular are leisure, family, cultural, religious, sports, accessible (differently able), and many others. Business tourism (Meetings Incentives, Conferences and Events) is also enjoying momentum. Opportunities within the industry are therefore multifarious as they unfold spontaneously and concomitantly with Tourism’s evolution. History and posterity has vested Saint
Lucia with many attributes. Among them a divergent society; rich with a vibrant, cuisine, art, heritage and culture. Giving Saint Lucia its own Soul; its own cultural ethos. The gifted Designer, Chef and Artisan can embrace that diversity of community and invest their creativity (both innate and cultivated) into deliberate fusions of African, European and Indian heritage / influences; creating a sort of modern vogue, and in the process making Saint Lucia an attractive, culturally rich destination, standing high with international tourism. Community centered tourism is becoming one of the fastest growing forms of tourism globally, with its concentration on environmental and cultural uniqueness. This dynamic is provident not just to communities rooted in culture, but also to the savvy entrepreneur investing resources into indigenous and endogenous creativity. This micro type development will undoubtedly goad tourism’s socioeconomic evolution. Traditional tourism, will find it necessary and automatic to ingratiate into the cultural power of the destination, rather than the other way around. This statement is validated by the impact and energy of Kweyol heritage month, as nascent and unrefined as it currently is. This year in particular, Kweyol month was consciously described as “cultural Christmas in October” or “The true Lucian Christmas”. Individually, every one of us endearing a strong Saint Lucian Identity; pride of self and Country, with attendant civics and decorum is advertently endowed with the art of selling the St Lucia brand along with having access to its attendant opportunities. My family business is testament to this statement. The Flight Attendant plying the global skies, the Coconut Vendor veneering his skills and service, each displaying strong and resplendent “Hewanorrial” qualities. A ubiquity of opportunity awaits the motivated and the culturally puissant. Opportunities, however lucrative, however presented, are useless if not utilized. Whether as an individual or a collective, we must participate in creating necessary enabling platforms. Destination Management Companies, Indigenous and locally owned lodgings must “seize this moment” to their own fruitful advantage, and vicariously goad industry colleagues into similar action. Our dominant lodging partners must be encouraged to continue to engage the culturally endowed and invest in their development, complementing all efforts in creating an inimitable Saint Lucia Brand. The SLHTA as a private member body, must continue invest attention and resources
into all endeavors that will spur meaningful creativity in the evolutionary process, with reward intent and motive (unabashedly so). For it is profit motive and not social benevolence that will goad alacrity and creative intelligence, just as it is with Silicon Valley. Tourism related opportunities, with all its ancillaries – both existing and futuristic, must therefore be accessible to all communities, all people and all service providers. Gratitude in part to the internet; social media / TripAdvisor, Airbnb and other emerging phenomenon, with all their attendant challenges, provide parity in international exposure to both David and Goliath. This developing paradigm is quintessential to our destinations development and global competitiveness. Governments can also take que from social media. It must first recognize the importance and need for inclusive participation of the entire citizenry in tourism development. The creativity pool must not be hobbled by punitory tax regimes in which the local tourism entrepreneur is gouged through structured ad valorem taxes even before he or she can make a first sale. State sponsored concessions and Incentives, therefore, should not focus predominantly on propitiating foreign interest and capital, but with equal parity of thrust, encourage the undiscovered, untapped and largely ignored wealth of native capital. I gutsily opine that the discerning entrepreneur should advocate for preferential incentive status. The dominant lodging sector has been so endowed for a long time (rightfully so) as they, in their nascence did just that. The Citizenry, the “All”, must assert its right to holistically participate in its own evolution. Doing so as dignified individuals and as a collective. The democracy with which we are gifted is the front-door-key to every possible direction of our existence. This and every moment gives us the right to turn that key by will and choice. Regardless of prevailing circumstances, the determinants in molding our fecund destiny is none but ourselves. We must see ourselves as captains of our own voyage. Not government, not charity, not foreign investments - though they are welcomed assists. It is infra dig, relegating our innate gifts and future to limitations and dictates of exogenous interest through our own tacit authority. We will never fully enjoy the bounties of our luxuriant soil if we build a tourism dependent society in which the population is regimented to the service of a privileged few. ¤ BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Saint Lucia: Land of Awards & Accolades
Saint Lucia: Land of Awards & Accolades S aint Lucia’s history of compiling awards and accolades since tourists began setting foot on this tiny island is no secret to the travel industry. There are many reasons why, but let us first discuss what makes Saint Lucia one of the most traveled destinations in the Caribbean.
The history of Saint Lucia is rich with adventurous tales, blended cultures, and a natural diversity. The culture here blends the influences of African, French, and English heritage. In fact, throughout the 617-square kilometre (238-square mile) island, you’ll find remnants of the many wars the island endured between the French and the British fighting for control of the island between 1660 and 1814, with the flag of Saint Lucia changing 14 times in that period. The British ultimately took possession under the Treaty of Paris in 1814, and at that time Saint Lucia became a Crown colony. In February, 1979, it finally became independent, as a constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth, with John Compton of the United Workers Party (UWP) as its first Prime Minister. When you first visit Saint Lucia, you’ll come to see why the European powers wrestled over this amazing island. But why so much recognition? Why so many well-deserved awards and accolades? If you’ve ever visited Saint Lucia, you already know why. For those of you that have yet to see this “Helen of the West Indies”, we know it’s just a matter of time before you visit us, and then realize why Saint Lucia is a “dreamer’s dream.” Not only will you find attractions and a culture that will astound you, but the many reasons tourists come to our beautiful island time and time again. The maritime tropical climate here is one of the best in the Caribbean. You’ll find the best in scuba diving and snorkelling on colourful coral reefs, cruises, sailing, and game fishing. On the lush and tropical foliage that gently caresses the
aqua-green waters, the towering and majestic Pitons rise gallantly out of the Atlantic with warm, sandy beaches that look like a scene from a Hollywood movie. Close by palm-fringed bays, relaxing sulfur hot springs, golf, botanical gardens, national parks, wildlife reserves, hiking, cycling and horseback riding are easily accessible by ferry, taxi or bus. Cultural attractions include the famous and colourful Carnival, where vibrating and hypnotic music fills the air, sexy costumes abound and Saint Lucia’s very own “whining” dance. Carnival attracts tourists from all parts of the globe and follows directly behind the annual internationally known and immensely popular Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival. This event is next scheduled for May 5-14 2017, so make sure to mark your calendar. Creole Day (Jounen Kwéyòl) is celebrated each year on the last Sunday of October. This year, the various towns chosen to host this festival put out the result of their grand preparations: local foods and drinks such as breadfruit, green fig, plantain, saltfish, kingfish, manicou (opossum), roast pork, bakes (dough, either fried in oil or cooked on a flat grill) and a famous dish, bouyon (fish, chicken or other meat stewed with dasheen [taro], yams, plantains, banana and dumplings), lime drinks, guava drinks and more. Most people commemorate this day by wearing the island’s national wear adorned in traditional Creole colors known as madras. So whether you are visiting to experience our heritage, our natural beauty or celebrating a wedding, honeymoon, birthday or other life milestone, we are happy to have captured your attention.
List of the awards and accolades Saint Lucia has won so far for 2016. “The Top Ten Caribbean Islands, #2 Overall” Caribbean Travel & Life/January “The Top Ten Caribbean Islands, #3 Luxury” Caribbean Travel & Life/January “Best Places to Visit in the Caribbean, #1” U.S News and World Report/January “Best Beach Honeymoon Destinations, #6” U.S News and World Report/January “Best Family Vacations in the Caribbean, #7” U.S News and World Report/January “Best Caribbean Beaches, #8” U.S News and World Report/January “American Express Travel 2016 Trending Destinations” American Express/February “The 25 Best Caribbean Islands” #1Business Insider/February “Porthole Cruise Editor-in-Chief Awards, Best Port Agency/Tour Operator” Porthole Cruise/March “Best Romantic Getaway” Business Insider/March “The World’s Most Romantic Destination, #3 /Brides/June “The Best Island in the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, #9” Travel + Leisure /July BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
SLHTA Encourages Policymakers to Pass Plastic Waste Legislation
SLHTA encourages policymakers to pass plastic waste legislation
he Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, in declaring 2016 as the Year of the Environment expressed a firm commitment in strengthening existing good environmental practices as well firmly advocating for policies and programs that would address the increasing environmental threats that are facing the island. To this end, the Association continues its calls to policy makers, to express their concerns and fervent desire to see the enactment of the Returnable Containers Bill, that has been remained in the drafting stage for the last 8 years. The Management of Beverage Containers Act, drafted in 2008, seeks to incentivize the return of plastic containers in exchange for the payment of a cash refund. The enactment of this bill would seek to address the pollution caused by plastic bottles that not only overburden our limited landfills but block our rivers. This plastic causes increased flooding as well as litters our beaches and coral reefs harming the natural wildlife. In declaring 2016 as the Year of the Environment, the Association hopes to draw into focus the importance of conserving the islandâ€™s fragile ecosystem. The Association through its Environmental Committee, continues its advocacy to reduce littering in an effort to combat climate change. The committee continues its calls for the Returnable Containers Bill to be completed and passed so that we can finally tackle the growing plague of plastic which threatens to consume this island and impact our tourism industry which is the primary economic activity of this country. Â¤
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
The Rise of the Sharing Economy
The Rise of the Sharing Economy
he Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) has applauded the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) efforts to find solutions to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the rapid rise of the online vacation home rental industry and other sharing economy businesses being fueled by hosting platform companies like Airbnb and Uber. Earlier this year, CHTA released a resource guide to support efforts to create a level playing field for greater standardization through regulation of the informal accommodation sector and its engagement in local public and private sector tourism development efforts. On March 8, 2016, the SLHTA presented a position paper titled “The Sharing Economy: Developing Our Alternative Accommodation Sector in Saint Lucia” to the Ministry of Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries, calling for greater attention to be paid to this emerging sector so that Saint Lucia can optimize the opportunities for small properties operating on these platforms. Noting recent information from the Saint Lucia Tourist Board that this sector now accounts for 15% of arrivals locally, SLHTA President Sanovnik Destang has stated that “SLHTA is fully supportive of the need to create a level playing field and looks forward to working with government to advance the recommendations provided by our position paper as well as the CHTA report.” Destang has also noted that “Regional growth in this sector is not simply driven by a desire to source cheaper accommodation options, but also out of a desire for an authentic experience and travelers being more independent minded in their travel planning.” The Caribbean has seen explosive growth in the short-term vacation home rental business. Taking advantage of new technology platforms, many residential owners throughout the world are sharing in tourism revenues by providing accommodations through marketplaces or host platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, which have emerged as the industry’s top leaders. Airbnb, in particular, recorded more than 25,000 listings in the Caribbean as of February, 2016, and is projecting significant regional growth this year for this sector. Aruba saw the number of visitors using non-traditional accommodations (private homes, apartments, villas, condominiums) in 2015 jump from 24% of visitors to 33%. Destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Cancún, Martinique and Barbados feature the most listings on Airbnb with continued growth projected throughout the entire region. Locally, the St. Lucia Tourist Board has also noted increases in arrivals to this sector last year. “As many governments throughout the world have experienced, the sharing economy made possible by these hosting platforms is happening whether or not we choose to embrace it and it presents new opportunities for the industry as well,” said CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy. “This leaves us with two options: We can allow it to develop as an under-regulated market and lose out on tremendous opportunities or we can bring all the players to the table to work out solutions to the benefit of all concerned parties,” added Troubetzkoy. “CHTA has endeavored to take a positive, constructive and balanced approach to the guide, welcoming this rapidly BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
developing accommodations sector but also calling for a fair play arrangement regarding taxation and some measure of standards beyond those applicable to residences. CHTA is not calling for there to be the same detailed and sometimes onerous regulatory requirements for hotels, but for a level of regulation beyond those which simply apply to private residences. These are commercial enterprises regardless as to how one looks at it and the welfare of the guest and health, safety and reputation of the host property, the hosting platform, and the destination must be considered,” Troubetzkoy said. The guide provides the region’s public and private sector tourism stakeholders with a summary of the key issues surrounding the sharing economy, its impact on the tourism sector globally as well as regionally, and the opportunities presented by this emerging accommodations sector. It offers solutions and new approaches for the Caribbean’s NHTAs and governments to consider when regulating and regularizing this emerging industry. And it sets the stage for engaging the emerging accommodations sector in organized public and private sector efforts to protect and grow the tourism industry. The proliferation of Airbnb and other such hosting platforms is also beginning to effect airlift capacity to some destinations. In some cases, increased airline load factors have reduced the number of seats available for traditional hotel guests or have driven up the cost of air tickets. “Therefore, it is important that we account for this growing accommodations sector in our research, product development, airlift development, and marketing efforts in order to plan accordingly,” Troubetzkoy noted. Increasingly, governments throughout the world are working in partnership with local tourism industry stakeholders and hosting platform companies such as Airbnb, taking a proactive approach to addressing challenges and concerns. With the support of companies like Airbnb, destinations are adopting new measures to address standardization and regulation of home vacation stays. Underscoring the untapped potential for Caribbean jurisdictions experiencing budgetary challenges, a 2016 Airbnb study estimates that the 50 largest cities in the U.S. would have collected an additional $200 million in occupancy taxes in 2015 if taxation measures and supporting collection and enforcement protocols were in place. At the same time, concerns over the safety and well-being of both travelers and their non-traditional hosts are also prevalent. Traditional hotel and taxi businesses operate with strict property and insurance liability requirements and must meet stringent safety, cleanliness and operational standards, which are kept at a voluntary minimum for most home rental operators. The sharing economy presents tremendous entrepreneurial possibilities for more Saint Lucians as it fills airplanes, diversifies and supplements the accommodation stock and boosts the fortunes of tours, attractions and independent restaurants as these guests are more likely to explore our island while supporting other micro enterprises. ¤
Hidden Gems of Saint. Lucia
“Escape and discover true paradise”
he Hidden Gems of Saint Lucia is a new brand for elegant but small hotels, bed & breakfast establishments and guesthouses in St. Lucia often deemed “off the beaten track”. The Hidden Gems of Saint Lucia collectively boast over 300 hundred rooms and self-catering units wrapped around the island of Saint Lucia. The Gems are the only group of accommodation providers mostly locally owned and managed by Saint Lucian women, offering village, cultural and true Saint Lucian hospitality. All members of the SLHTA, the Gems include Alize Inn, Palm Haven Hotel, Habitat Terrace Hotel, Poinsettia Villa Apartments, Bel Jou Hotel, Marigot Beach Club, Marigot Palms, La Haut Resort, Hummingbird Beach Resort, Leisure Inn, The Downtown Hotel, Fox Grove Inn, Charlery’s Inn, Zamaca Bed & Breakfast, QR Quality Rooms, The Reef Kite & Surf, and Aupic Paradise Guest House and Apartments. The properties offer intimate experiences for the modern traveler seeking to overload his senses with communitybased heritage tourism experiences. Hidden Gems properties offer delectable cuisine, highly personalized engagements and cultural immersion difficult to capture in larger properties. From all-inclusive packages to vacations tailored to fit your every whim, the variety of leisure or business experiences with these properties will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. It’s no wonder their ratio of repeat guests is so high. The Hidden Gems brand offers the most exotic and authentic Saint Lucian vacations. ¤ BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Anse Chastanet Hotel
Green in Tourism
SLHTA Commits to Greening Tourism
reening Tourism is crucial to the establishment of a sustainable tourism industry. It calls for the reduction of negative social, environmental and economic impact of tourism on the wider community in which it operates. The concept however goes far beyond simple conservation. It encourages reform in operating procedures and policies and charges businesses to honor a stronger corporate social responsibility commitment. Greening tourism must become a way of life for team members and a philosophy of work for businesses. As a self-proclaimed Champion of more sustainable tourism practices, the SLHTA created an Environmental Committee to lead the discussion on these issues which impact more than just tourism.
The Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA) Environmental Committee is dedicated to providing guidance and direction with regard to ecologically sensitive policies and practices that cultivate a sustainable future and lead to health and economic benefits for the tourism industry. The SLHTA in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and other sectors work to encourage a channel of communication and discussion on issues related to the environment and sustainability. They are also committed to fostering environmental literacy, sustainable expansion, and environmental responsibility that can serve as a model for others. The focal objectives of this committee are as follows: 1. To create action plans that contribute to the further development and beautification of historical sites to attract a wider target market consisting of visitors and residents alike.
2. To identify environmental problems and construct solutions.
3. To generate effective strategies for ongoing cleanup activities and encourage positive word of mouth advertising through visitors.
4. Strengthen ecological information and scrutiny
competence in order to offer dependable and appropriate information on the state of the environment as a basis for improved policymaking and public awareness for the industry.
5. Maintaining road conditions to promote safety for travelers.
6. Keep up-to-date on different environmental trends to ensure comfort for visitors but not going astray from
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
7. Pooling resources to boost and further advancing eco- tourism.
8. Supply leadership in areas of environmental protection
including water supply, solid waste management and disposal, and water pollution control to ensure health and safety for both visitors and residents.
Over the past two years, the SLHTA Environmental Committee has conducted a number of site visits to member properties to capture a keen understanding of industry good practices for possible implementation on other properties. These outreach sessions exposed a number of committee members to new technologies and inspired the compilation of an Environmental Best Practices Recommendations Handbook. The Best Practices Handbook highlights what’s working for us and seeks to generally expand the knowledge and opportunities that would be of global value to the industry within Saint Lucia. Essentially, greening tourism begins at home. There are many training philosophies that we use within our industry to encourage understanding and change among our team members. We have found that the best way to influence meaningful and lasting change towards workplace energy management, for example, is to start by assisting our employees to understand how to make beneficial changes in their home environments. The Best Practices Handbook shares how businesses can conserve energy by managing air conditioning, water heating, operational water use and lighting. It shares techniques on composting and recycling and encourages businesses to get team members more involved in efforts for a greener environment. For agencies interested in obtaining “green certification” check out the link to our Best Practices Handbook at www.slhta.com/environmentalbest-practices-handbook/ The SLHTA Environmental Committee comprises members from Anse Chastanet Resort, Bay Gardens Beach Resort, Capella, C’est La Vile, Coconut Bay Resort, Rendezvous, Rex Resort, Sandals Grande, Sandals Halcyon, Sandals La Toc, St James’s Club, Sugar Beach, The Landings, Ti Kaye Resort and Windjammer Landings. ¤
Social Media Marketing for Today’s Tourism Business
Social Media Marketing For Today’s Tourism Business
By promoting a culture of “forever being in service of your client” you can attract your perfect guests and then convert them into evangelical fans who will go out and be the best promoters of your offerings. This is the ultimate in social media marketing, where fans are telling their peers everywhere why they simply must experience your offerings.
Posting Automation To manage cost, be sure to look into automation tools such as HootSuite and ShortStack that allow you to post to one platform and have those posts automatically distributed to all your other platforms. You can also make multiple posts in one session and schedule the dates and times at which individual posts will be released – all really powerful stuff indeed!
By Kirk Elliott Photographer & Social Media Maven f social media marketing is not a part of your arsenal of enticements for attracting eyeballs to your tourism product you are likely missing out on a huge bonanza of loyal fans and customers who are longing to get to know you – though they may not yet know it! Today’s ways of engaging with audiences is so different from traditional familiar ways such as print and simple electronic media that many are left in a daze, inside a maze of confusion as to exactly what to do. Now, I will be the first to confess that I, too have been in this maze – probably even more bemused and befuddled than you! However, through persistence, perseverance and sheer good luck, I have progressed to the point that today, 97% or more of my business originates from online engagement, of which social media is a huge component. In this short article I will share an overview that I hope will help clear up some of the cobwebs that may be clouding your vision of social media marketing nirvana. I am a firm believer that by sharing our knowledge, destination Saint Lucia will enjoy better performance that will redound to an economic, social and cultural gain for us all. Start With A Plan Whether it’s a cottage in the mountains or a villa down on the beach, you simply wouldn’t start a tourism construction without a plan – right?! So, too, with your social media marketing. Start by asking and answering questions such as: Who is my ideal client? Where does he/she live? How much do they earn? What is their age group? Where do they hang out online ... Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, Instagram, etc? • What are their biggest pain points about their upcoming vacation? • • • • •
Audience Engagement With your head firmly wrapped around this approach, it is now time to engage your audience. Start by picking the social media channels you have determined will deliver the most yield and commit to a posting schedule. Let us imagine you’ve decided on Facebook, TripAdvisor, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to dedicate a team member or even an entire team to handle social media.
Keep It Natural ... Keep It Simple Today, more than ever, visitors trust peer-to-peer recommendations above all others and they tend to distrust glitzy advertisement style campaigns, preferring instead information that is authentic, plain, simple, and speaks to their needs. As an example: I recently posted a video shot with my iPhone of a day down on Vigie Beach when Martinique was so clear I swear I could read license plate numbers over there as cars drove past Roche Diamant! Now that post got quite a few likes on Instagram and Facebook. Then a few days later, the heavens opened up and the rains came down “a bucket a minute”. So following the philosophy I shared above of forever being in service of the client, I went out and shot another video on the same Vigie Beach to show that when it rains down in Saint Lucia a vacation will not be ruined ... and to confirm this I showed people out in the rain and life going on as usual. Well guess which video has received more likes, shares and comments? And I want to think that this simple video that is now in my social media feed will influence a few more vacationers to not fear visiting Saint Lucia during the rainy season as what we have down here is really “Liquid Sunshine”! ¤
I could pose 20 more questions, but I’m sure you get the drift... Now go to online watering holes (sorry I meant social gathering places), such as TripAdvisor, etc. and see how other businesses like yours are engaging with audiences across these various social media platforms. See what resonates with audiences both in positive as well as in negative ways, then ask yourself: “How would I do a better job if someone from any of these audiences honoured me by coming to my business?” Humanize It Armed with this knowledge, it is time to take your plan to the next level. Rather than concentrating on what your tourism business has to offer, engage with an audience and ask questions such as “What would make your experience with us your best vacation ever?” ... and prepare to be surprised by some of the answers you will receive.
About the author Kirk Elliott is a multiple TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner who promotes his photography primarily through multiple interconnected social media portals. Visit StLuciaPhotoTour.com and contact him at Kirk@KirkElliott.com. BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Caribbean Hotelier Receives ICABA Pinnacle Award
Karolin Troubetzkoy with her husband, Nick Troubetzkoy, at the awards event. At right is Horace Hord, ICABA’s Senior Vice President
Caribbean Hotelier Receives ICABA Pinnacle Award
ORT LAUDERDALE (October 25, 2016) - Leading Caribbean hotelier, , captured the Pinnacle Award at the International Career and Business Alliance (ICABA) Salute to Caribbean Excellence awards event at The Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend. Troubetzkoy, the executive director of operations at Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts in Soufrière, St. Lucia, received the honor at the awards spectacle, a tribute to the accomplishments and contributions of individuals and organizations throughout the Caribbean Diaspora. “I am very flattered and humbled to be recognized by ICABA along with a host of Caribbean pioneers,” said Troubetzkoy who currently serves as the president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. “A recognition like this encourages me to keep going and contribute in every way possible to make the Caribbean not only the most desirable place to visit, but also to grow up, live and work,” she added. Pinnacle award recipients were recognized for a life’s work which reflects sustainable excellence and accomplishment. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Other Pinnacle winners included Aubyn Hill, Deputy President of the Jamaica Senate; Rohan Marley, Founder of Marley Coffee; Haitian philanthropist Dr. Rudolph Moise; Dr. William Thompson, President of the Bahamas National Baptist Convention; Barbadian Bernard Weatherhead, Chairman of Sun Group Inc.; and Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Other honorees, who included more than 20 “Distinguished Achievers” and “Rising Stars”, were selected from a broad cross-section of professionals and entrepreneurs from multiple disciplines from the Caribbean and the United States. ICABA is a member-based, global business network assisting black professionals and entrepreneurs attain their career, business and lifestyle aspirations. For further information about Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, call 1 800 223-1108 or visitwww.ansechastanet.com and www.jademountain.com. ¤ Courtesy: Marketplace Excellence, Anse Chastanet, Jade Mountain
An oasis where you can get away from the busy city life and dine! Pink Papaya Restaurant, is your escape from a hectic day to a tranquil and inviting ambience, that caters to all. We offer an affordable lunch menu that includes Pizzas from our Wood fire Oven, an assortment of Pastas, fresh Seafood and local Cuisine. Make it an event and enjoy Cocktails at our Patio or Bar. You will find that we also offer some appetizing vegetarian lunch ideas, including a collection of fine Wines.
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 11 AM TO 5 PM
Telephone: (758)4536862 Email: Reservations@PinkPapayaRestaurant.com Location: Point Seraphine, Castries, Saint Lucia BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Top Commonwealth & Tourism Honours For Heroic Sandals Top Commonwealth & Tourism HonoursFor Heroic Sandals Life Guard Life Guard LATOC – Saint Lucian Zacheus Dominique, a lifeguard and aqua center employee at Sandals Regency LaToc Golf Resort & Spa, has earned the Commonwealth Mountbatten Medal – second only to the global grouping’s life-time achievement honours. Dominique was also recently awarded the Tourism Hero award from the Ministry of Tourism in partnership with the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association. Dominique, who is also a member of the Saint Lucia Life Saving Society – an affiliate of the Commonwealth Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), was recognized for his heroics on Monday February 23, 2015 at the LaToc beach where he saved a local community resident from drowning and several others from the overall harsh conditions of the rough seas, through his vigilance and persistence. In honour of this, Sandals Resorts International has committed to covering all of Dominique’s expenses to receive this honour in person at Buckingham Palace in November of this year. Praises and congratulations continue to pour in from Sandals Deputy Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Adam Stewart and all others on Dominique’s achievement. Details of the medal state, “The Mountbatten Medal is awarded annually for the most gallant rescue or rescue attempt undertaken in the previous calendar year. The rescue must have been made by the holder, or previous holder, of a lifesaving award delivered by a Royal Life Saving Society Member Branch. It can only be awarded to a citizen from a Commonwealth Nation, but the rescue or rescue attempt can be performed anywhere in the world.” General Manager for Sandals Regency LaToc Golf Resort & Spa, Michael James, has joined hands with the entire LaToc team in extending words of congratulations of Zacheus Dominique and his Aqua Center team for an exceptional job in monitoring and preserving life along the island’s crucial coastlines. “As lifeguards Zacheus and his team have the challenge of monitoring and protecting the lives of all resort’s 660 guests at capacity, as well as the general public who access the LaToc beach on a daily basis. It is not an easy task and we know as islanders how public holidays and beach recreation come together,” James said. Recently, Sandals LaToc honoured Zacheus Dominique for his Commonwealth achievement during a small “Prestigious Award” Ceremony at the Resort. He was also informed of his full financial support in being able to receive his honour in person. In a brief and emotional statement, Dominique continued to extend condolences to the family of the two other individuals whose lives were tragically lost on that faithful day and has pledged to continue to police the beach in the interest of safety and humanity. The victims of the February 23, 2015 tragedy were not guests of Sandals Resort. Water Sports Manager for Sandals Regency LaToc, Raymond Campbell, joined in extending commendations to his colleague and reminded of his department’s commitment to the continued training and development of its team talents, especially considering the sensitivity of their function. “For us in the Aqua Center, our responsibilities go beyond our own BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
small department and team complement. We owe it to our guests and islanders alike, who use our beaches to be always prepared and vigilant for any eventuality. We are proud that Zac was able to use his training and instincts to save as many as he could, beginning first with a reminder of caution to all beach goers,” Campbell said citing also the company’s extensive PADI Certification programme available for all team talents. The particulars of the tragic day were well recorded in local and international press, all of which show Dominique’s display of calm, professionalism and dedication to the protection and preservation of life. The century-old RLSS is represented in some 50 Commonwealth nations including Saint Lucia and is governed by a Commonwealth Council, chaired by Prince Michael. It is also the recognized leader of water safety education, lifesaving and lifeguarding in the Commonwealth, and it gives a high priority to the active promotion of lifesaving skills in developing countries. In the meantime, Carol Devaux of the Saint Lucia Life Saving Society, who was on hand to congratulate Domonique on his achievement, said recent recipients of the Mountbatten Medal are persons from Canada, UK, India and Mauritius among others. “This year it has been won by a Saint Lucian national lifeguard trained by the Saint Lucia Lifesaving Association and the Canadian Lifesaving Society – ZAC DOMINIQUE who works at Sandals Regency Resort at La Toc. This Medal will be awarded to Zac for the rescue he performed on the February 23, 2015,” Devaux said. (okay, so I changed the St. to Saint to be consistent with other mentions above however not sure if the actual name is ‘St. Lucia Lifesaving Association…’ ¤
Sandals Resorts offers two people in love with the most romantic, Luxury-Included® vacation experience in the Caribbean. With 15 stunning beachfront settings in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados and Grenada, Sandals Resorts offers more quality inclusions than any other resort company on the planet. Signature Love Nest suites for the ultimate in privacy and service; butlers trained by the English Guild of Professional Butlers; Red Lane Spa®; Discovery Dining, ensuring top-shelf liquor, premium wines and gourmet specialty restaurants; Aqua Centers with expert PADI® certification and training; fast Wi-Fi from beach to bedroom and WeddingMoons®, for dream destination weddings are all Sandals Resorts exclusives. Sandals Resorts is part of family-owned Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which includes Beaches Resorts and is the Caribbean’s leading all-inclusive resort company. For more information about the Sandals Resorts Luxury Included® difference, visit www.sandals.com
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BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
SLTB Successful London Showcase
SLTB Stages Successful London Showcase
he Saint Lucia Tourist Board enjoyed a week-long series of events during the 5th annual Saint Lucia Showcase, which took place in London recently.
Attended by over 150 key UK travel trade contacts, the week comprised a number of events – all hosted this year by Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Dominic Fedee. These included a stand-out media evening event at Hotel Chocolat, featuring cocktails and chocolate from Saint Lucia and attended by publications such as Daily Telegraph, TTG and The Sunday Mirror; a Managing Director’s Dinner, attended by ten of the leading tour operators including Caribtours, British Airways and Virgin Holidays; and a MICE dinner at London’s Groucho Club. The Saint Lucia Tourist Board also hosted a two-day Tour Operator’s Convention attended by 65 European tour operators and 21 hotels and afternoon Forum, which included key note speeches from Travel Weekly’s News Editor, Lee Hayhurst and one of Mintel’s top travel analysts, Fergal McGivney. The week culminated with the spectacular annual highlight, the Saint Lucia Gala Awards 2016. This year’s event was held at the Hilton London Syon Park Hotel, a 5-star modern hotel set in the historic 200-acre Syon Park Estate and was hosted by eminent BBC broadcaster and journalist Brenda Emmanus along with Kiss FM presenter and DJ, AJ King. Special entertainment included a Saint Lucian Street Party, held in the Syon Park Great Conservatory, complete with carnival dancers and quadrille dancers in traditional madras attire. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Speaking at his first showcase since taking office, the Minister of Tourism thanked the UK’s tour operators for their continued support of Saint Lucia and their passion and commitment to selling travel to the island. Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism, Saint Lucia Tourist Board said, “The Saint Lucia Showcase has gone from strength to strength and has become a permanent fixture in the UK travel trade calendar, and 2016 has been the best yet. The extraordinarily high quality of meetings and networking is commented upon each year and demonstrates the love affair the UK has with our beautiful island. With an additional 800 hotel rooms opening next year and a new direct flight to the island launching UK travellers will have more reason than ever to visit Saint Lucia over the coming year.” Atlyn Forde, Director of Marketing, UK and Europe, Saint Lucia Tourist Board added, “We were thrilled to welcome all our hotel partners, tour operators and of course the Minister of Tourism and his delegation to the 5th Annual Saint Lucia Showcase this year. The event really gives us the opportunity to extend our thanks to each and every person who continues to sell travel to Saint Lucia from this core market and to support our beautiful island. With many more exciting developments planned for the next 12 months, we are already looking forward to what next year’s event will bring.” The 2017 Showcase will take place on 14th and 15th September 2017. ¤ Courtey: St. Lucia News Online
Tourism conference explores tech tools
everaging technology and understanding the power of Google Analytics to bolster the performance of the Caribbean’s tourism sector were key components of the recent Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Tourism Conference Explores Tech Tool Rico. Forum (CHIEF) held at El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Prior to the event, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), organisers of the meeting, disclosed that experts from technology companies such as Google and TravelClick would share trade tips with delegates at the second annual exchange, which has been described as one of the most cost effective tourism education meetings in the Caribbean. Other leading technology companies, including Cable and Wireless, Oracle, Rainmaker, SiteMinder and Sojern had a presence at this year’s exchange. At “The Nuts and Bolts of Google Analytics,” assembled by Ben Dubrow, Export Consultant for Google, participants learned the basics of viewing and analyzing data provided by this essential tool. The session also covered recommendations on how to best use Google Analytics to increase sales. Technology sessions at the three-day event included “Gadgets Gizmos and Guests – Best Practices in Hotel Technology,” which offered tech solutions and resources to
revolutionize business; and “Fishing for Information in a Sea of Data” where Kerry Cannon, Managing Director of MMGY Global, explained why capturing guest data is important to the bottom line. He also shared user-friendly, cost effective platforms to capture and interpret guest information. “Tech Tools to Stay Ahead of the Revenue Game” were also explored, and “Where Hi-Tech Meets High Touch” looked at using technology to enhance, not replace, the personal, human touch of hospitality. In the general session, Ting Ting Yan, Senior Marketing Strategist at Google who advises Fortune 500 clients in travel and leisure on their digital marketing, moderated a discussion entitled “The Caribbean thru the Looking Glass,” which addressed perspectives on the future of the industry.
Kerry Cannon Managing Director of MMGY Global
Other sessions at this year’s CHIEF conference focused on Environmental Sustainability, Operations, and Sales and Marketing. ¤
Ipswich Antwerp La Pallice Setubal Dominican Republic Haiti
St. Martin Guadeloupe Martinique St. Lucia Barbados Trinidad Guyana Surinam French Guiana (S.L.M.) Brazil (Macapá)
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Bay Gardens Resorts Redefines the All Inclusive Model
Bay Gardens Resorts Redefines the All Inclusive Model
ike most other Caribbean destinations, St. Lucia has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for All Inclusive vacations from travelers who desire a worry-free, minimal transaction stay. More than 50% of travelers to St. Lucia opt for an All Inclusive vacation and virtually all hotels on island are either fully All Inclusive or offer an All Inclusive option. The movement of St. Lucian resorts towards meeting this demand for All Inclusive vacations may have augured well for St. Lucian hotels but has been seen as a source of concern for independent restaurants who often believe that they have suffered with fewer guests opting to dine out. However, the Bay Gardens Resorts chain has found a creative way of offering guests the certainty of an All Inclusive vacation while offering unparalleled choice by partnering rather than competing with independent restaurants on the Rodney Bay strip.
“Bay Gardens Resorts’ unique, model of the all-inclusive truly stands out in a market driven by guests who want to have a seamless experience of an authentic Caribbean stay”
The Taste of Rodney Bay, a dine-around program introduced by the Bay Gardens Resorts in Saint Lucia, has been a serious game changer in terms of inclusions for food and beverages. This program allows a guest who books a 7 night all-inclusive experience at any of their resorts, to have dinner at 10 various popular restaurants, 3 out of the 7 nights. Each of these restaurants are located within 5 minutes’ drive of the properties and the resorts offer a complimentary shuttle for drop off and pick up. This is in addition to the already amazing restaurants they can pick from at the Bay Gardens properties. Participating restaurants include Spice of India, Rituals Sushi, Jacques Waterfront Dining, La Terrasse, Buzz, Zaika, Elegance Café, Memories of Hong Kong, Blue Olive and Tapas on the Bay. It has not only beneficial for the guests who want to explore the islands tastes, but also for the owners of these restaurants. Adil Sherwani, owner of Spice of India, a restaurant that has been part BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
of the program from inception, stated “A great concept. We have been enjoying this for some time now.” Roberta Poluis, Rituals Sushi said “A big thank you to Bay Gardens Resorts for this great initiative” Another exciting innovation, Splash Island Water Park, the Caribbean’s first open water sports park is also a prominent feature of the property’s All Inclusive Plan. Guests who book an All Inclusive plan for 7 nights or more enjoy 6 half day passes on this ultimate aquatic playground, which has become a very popular activity for local, regional and international adventure seekers as well as those just looking to have fun under the sun in the cool Caribbean waters. The plan also allows a guest to experience a 20 minute massage at the well-known La Mer Spa and right from the start, a guest receives a welcome starter pack in their rooms, which includes miniature local rums and spirts. It is key to note that these inclusions above all have strong linkages to assisting the local economy and growing tourism partnerships. Bay Gardens Resorts menus all feature Farm to Table options focused on promoting locally grown cuisine. Moreover, the success of the Taste of Rodney Bay Initiative provided the inspiration for the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association’s (SLHTA’s) recently introduced Dine-Around St. Lucia program, an idea which creates more options for guests to taste Saint Lucia’s culinary offerings and assists the awareness of restaurants on island. Bay Gardens Resorts’ unique, model of the all-inclusive truly stands out in a market driven by guests who want to have a seamless experience of an authentic Caribbean stay and may be the start of a redefinition of the Caribbean All Inclusive Experience that focuses on partnering with other local businesses to create a more holistic and All Inclusive concept that is truly “Inclusive” of all partners in the tourism sector. ¤
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Hylyne Poultry Farm Ltd: A Leader in St. Lucia’s Poultry Industry
HylYne Poultry Farm LTD: A LeadER IN St. Lucia’s poultry industry
leming James opened Hylyne
Poultry Farm Ltd. in 2000 with about 15 members of staff. Sixteen years later, the poultry processing plant, located in Morne du Don, employs 36 people and supplies 50% of the local quota approved by the Governent. Hylyne’s product is unparalleled – the plant sources 100% locally grown chicken from 25 local farmers and sells only chicken that is completely chemical-free, raised with no antibiotics, no growth hormones and no animal protein.
“When it comes to quality, we stand out – number one,” says James, who runs the plant with his sons, Peter James and Marlon James. Imported chicken simply cannot compare with the freshness and quality of the local chicken Hylyne offers. “It’s a much healthier product – no two ways about it,” James says. Chicken, the most common type of poultry in the world, is a reliable source of protein and a popular staple in the St. Lucian diet. Across the globe, it is particularly popular among fitness enthusiasts and people trying to lose weight, because it is full of lean protein and it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than red meat, such as beef, pork and lamb. Hylyne sells both fresh and frozen chicken, and serves both the wholesale and retail markets. Though Hylyne supplies a lengthy list of wholesale clients, the company is also readily available to serve individual customers and it sees a lot of daily walk-in traffic. “Anybody who walks in will be accommodated,” James says.
Fleming James BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
The plant’s current wholesale clients include CPJ, Crown Foods, KFC, Peter & Company, Massy Stores, Erolines supermarkets, and Goddard’s Catering Group, which provides airline catering, meaning, yes, St. Lucian chicken is even being served at 30,000 feet in the air on international flights. So far, the support for Hylyne has been there and the feedback has been positive. And clearly, the word about what Hylyne offers is spreading among consumers. “Almost every day I see a new person,” James says. Still, he is looking forward to what the future brings. “There’s a lot of scope for growth,” he says. Recently, James has been talking with representatives of the high-end Soufriere resorts Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain about Hylyne becoming their chicken supplier. He’s also looking forward to negotiations with the government about implementing a recently approved required 40% market share for local poultry. Without a doubt, Hylyne offers a superior product compared with the imported alternative – fresh, locally grown, no
antibiotics, no growth hormones, no animal protein – who can beat that? The choice to buy Hylyne chicken is clear-cut – not only is it a healthier, higher quality meat for you to eat, but buying Hylyne chicken also supports a St. Lucian, family-owned and operated business and supports 25 St. Lucian farmers and their families, meaning every cent of your Hylyne purchase goes back into the St. Lucian economy.
Chicken, the most common type of poultry in the world, is a reliable source of protein and a popular staple in the St. Lucian diet.
James appreciates every single one of Hylyne’s customers and encourages St. Lucia’s residents to support the country’s local industries because, to put it simply, “If we don’t, who will?” ¤
Marlon & Peter James BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
MUST READS Volume 21
Brand Real by Laurence Vincent
by Lyndell Halliday BSc., MBA, CPA,CMA
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole.” Theofore Levitt
The title of this book gives a hint at the writing style to expect from the author – somewhat tongue in cheek and irreverent at times. If you don’t mind that you will find this to be an enlightening book that deftly delivers what its subtitle claims The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why
parketing is one of the
most critical activities of any enterprise and yet at once one of the most poorly understood. This issue of Must Reads explores the basics of marketing with a discussion of two key books: All Marketers are Liars by Seth Godin, (Portfolio, 2012) and Brand Real by Laurence Vincent. (Amacon, 2012).
All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin Seth Godin is a prolific author who has written eighteen international bestsellers. He is perhaps best known as the author of Tribes – We Need You to Lead Us and Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. According to Godin, “Successful marketers are just providers of stories that consumers choose to believe”. And that is the essence of this book - marketing is about telling a believable story. It is essential to have a good story – “Either you are going to tell stories that spread, or you become irrelevant.“ One of the down falls of unsuccessful marketers is that they focus primarily on the facts and features of their product or service instead of telling a story.
Laurence Vincent is a successful strategic marketing consultant who has worked with some of the world’s most recognised brands including CBS, Coca-Cola, Four Seasons, MasterCard, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines and Sony PlayStation. Brand Real was recognised by Strategy + Business Magazine as one of the best business books of 2012. Brand Real is a detailed primer on what brand building should be and should not be. Vincent writes that many companies focus far too much effort on brand identity - on issues such as names, colours, logos and taglines – to the neglect of the more critical aspect of branding – the brand behaviour. According to Vincent, “enterprises forgot that a brand, at its heart, is a promise to deliver. If the brand experience does not live up to that promise, customers will take their business elsewhere.” Thus, what matters most is being able to consistently deliver experiences that reinforce your brand identity. There must be an alignment with the expectations and the actual experiences of a brand. Vincent posits that customers divide brands into five major categories: cultures, destinations, products, services and ingredients. Critical to a successful brand strategy is ensuring that your brand is positioned in the right category, consistent with your defined strategy. In Brand Real Vincent gives a comprehensive step by step guide on how to develop and maintain a successful brand using examples of many well-known companies – both successes and failures. Brand Real is an engaging and pragmatic book for any business executive needing to get an understanding on the important subject of branding. ¤
However, while having a good story is necessary, it is not sufficient. Godin warns that marketing does not work if the customer experience is incongruent with the story that the consumer is being told. Authenticity is critical. In other words, you must live the story that you tell in order for it to be credible and sustainable. Godin outlines a five step approach to understanding successful marketing through storytelling: Step 1: Their worldview and frames got there before you did. Step 2: People only notice the new and then make a guess. Step 3: First impressions start the story. Step 4: Great marketers tell stories we believe. Step 5: Marketers with authenticity thrive. Godin is particularly strong when he gives an exposition of the ideas of framing and worldviews. According to Godin, each consumer has a personalized worldview. Successful marketers understand that it is impossible to reach all worldviews. Instead, the successful marketer focuses on consumers with a specific worldview and attempts to frame the marketing story to cater to that worldview. Godin adds strength to his arguments by citing anecdotes and examples of real life businesses – many of which will be familiar to the reader. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Lyndell Halliday is an avid reader, lifelong learner and business executive who has served in a range of leadership roles across the Caribbean. He is currently employed as the General Manager of Automotive Art (St Lucia) Ltd. Mr Halliday also lectures Leadership & Operations Management for the Australia Institute of Business MBA programme at the National Research and Development Foundation.
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Grenada A Leader in ‘Blue Economy’
Grenada A Leader in ‘Blue Economy’
By: Sarah Munn
renada, the Spice Island, is leading the Eastern Caribbean toward a “blue economy,” and the World Bank has taken notice.
The World Bank recently released a report examining how the transition to a blue economy for countries in the Caribbean can simultaneously generate growth and help those countries gain greater resilience to external shocks by better preserving the ocean. So what exactly is this notion of a blue economy? “The concept of a ‘green economy’ and ‘green growth’ has gained wide currency in the world in recent decades. Common policy recommendations for this type of growth focus on better efficiency, new technologies, new markets, and the boosting of investor confidence,” states the report, titled “Toward a Blue Economy: A Promise for Sustainable Growth in the Caribbean.” The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and a group of partners proposed to apply the concept of a green economy to the ocean before the Rio+20 summit in 2012, envisioning a “blue economy.” At the summit and afterward, the concept was discussed at length and in varying capacities. Though there is still no one clear-cut definition of the term, the World Bank report says the Economist Intelligence Unit defines it as this: “A sustainable ocean economy emerges when economic activity is in balance with the long-term capacity of ocean ecosystems to support this activity and remain resilient and healthy.” The report expands on that definition, stating, “… the goal in applying the blue economy concept as a lens is to emphasize the connection between the ocean’s ecological systems and the human activity that takes place in the ocean economy. The concept recognizes that some activities in the ocean economy depend on the underlying ecological systems (the natural capital), while all have the potential to degrade them. Increasingly, policy BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
frameworks seek to simultaneously expand the natural and the produced capital of the ocean. Essentially, the blue economy concept provides a lens through which to measure, identify, and encourage these types of opportunities, for a net benefit to the aggregate ocean economy and environment, consistent with principles of social equity and with a priority on poverty reduction.” The Caribbean is the perfect place to implement this concept in a tangible way. Pawan Patil, World Bank Senior Economist and coauthor of the report, explains. “The Caribbean Sea represents a tremendous economic asset for the region not only in terms of high value natural resources such as fish stocks, oil and gas, but also as a global hotspot for marine diversity and tourism. Maintaining ocean health is synonymous with growing ocean wealth, and finding this balance is how we’ll be able to better invest in the Caribbean blue economy.” Grenada has established itself as the first country in the Eastern Caribbean to develop a vision for blue growth as the way forward for the country’s future, and has also become a leader in the battle against climate change. The country has successfully developed a high value seafood export business to Martinique and the United States. “Our Prime Minister has seen how important these tourism and fishing industries are for the people of Grenada, and is committed to ensuring that our oceans and environment are protected,” said Dr. Angus Friday, Grenada’s Ambassador to the United States. Supported by the World Bank, Eastern Caribbean countries adopted a regional action plan in 2013. In other parts of the world, Mauritius and the Seychelles have championed the strategy of a blue economy. According to the World Bank report, Caribbean waters generated an estimated US$407 billion in 2012, an amount that represents more than 17 percent of Caribbean GDP. That figure comes chiefly from cargo shipped through the region, tourism and oil and gas
production. In recent years, there has been a rise in revenues from aquaculture, but a decline for open sea capture fisheries. “The report highlights the opportunities offered by the Caribbean blue economy and identifies priority areas for action that can generate blue growth and opportunities for all Caribbean people, while ensuring that oceans and marine ecosystems are sustainably managed and used,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. The authors say the current state of play in the region suggests many interrelated priorities for polices that could carry the Caribbean toward a blue economy, guided by ocean principles.
•Develop and strengthen regional and national policies to better integrate the governance framework for the Caribbean Sea. •Implement policies for a healthy, resilient and productive marine environment in the Caribbean. •Provide education and raise awareness about the blue economy. •Ensure maritime surveillance, monitoring and enforcement. •Build the infrastructure for a blue economy. •Support research and development for a blue economy. •Support business development and sustainable finance.
To facilitate change, the authors suggest combining the above policy priorities with the following 10 ocean principles for investments in a Caribbean blue economy. 1) Sustainable development/sustainable livelihoods 2) Marine ecosystem health
3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10)
Integrated ocean governance Science-based, precautionary, and adaptive decision making Duty of care and accountability Inclusive and transparent decision making Ecosystem-based management Develop ocean solutions that will reduce climate change risks and allow the development of climate change- related opportunities Sharing of benefits derived from the blue economy The right to development
Some of the authors’ actionable recommendations for policymakers in the Caribbean include eco labels to promote sustainable fishing practices and/or aquaculture, environmentally friendly coastal hotels, offshore winds and other marine renewable energy systems. “Creating a blue economy in the Caribbean will require major investments of capital and political will and take decades to complete,” the authors conclude. “But sticking with a business-as-usual approach risks the continued decline of a body of water that boasts not only great beauty but mammoth economic potential. The World Bank stands ready to work with governments and other actors to help bring the people of the Caribbean the full benefits of the blue economy.” The analysis for the report was conducted in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. ¤
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FDL Pest Control Solutions
In an eďŹ€ort to safeguard the island in every area of pest control management, FDL Pest Control Solutions recently launched the In2Care Mosquito trap; a safe, eďŹ€ective way to kill the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The In2Care trap provides a welcome solution to help control the spread of vector borne diseases and has been proven to killl the Aedes Aegypti mosquito at every stage of its lfe cycle. In fact, FDL now has data to show that the trap has dramatically reduced the mosquito population in certain communities on the island. Homeowners and businesses alike have been singing the praises of the In2Care Mosquito Trap and FDL is moving forward to use the In2Care trap to address a wider public health issue. Currently, the company is in talks with the Ministry of Education, to install In2Care Mosquito traps in all public schools in St. Lucia. FDL has reached out to the SLHTA, and the St. Lucian business community to adopt a school, to help cover the ongoing maintenance costs of the traps and ensure that our kids, who are actually 20% of the island's population, remain safeguarded from mosquito borne diseases daily. If you are interested in sponsoring a school to support the In2Care initiative or for general pest control, please call FDL Pest Control Solutions at 453 -1056.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
FDL Pest Control Solutions Trapping Mosquitos Island Wide FDL Pest Control Solutions
SLHTA is sold on the In2Care mosquito traps. Literally. The organization recently purchased over 3200 traps on behalf of its members, to ensure that St. Lucian hotels take a proactive approach to mosquito control. Over the past few months, many Caribbean resorts were plagued by heavy cancellations of stay over arrivals, due of the threat of the Zika virus. The In2Care mosquito trap is a safe, eﬀective way to kill the Aedes aegypti mosquito that causes Zika, Chikengunea and Dengue. Hotels in St. Lucia can use the presence of the traps at their locations, to assure guests of their commitment to keeping the resorts safe, and alleviate their fears of mosquito borne diseases. Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet have been using the In2Care traps since 2015 and report almost 0% mosquito complaints among guests. Following the success of the trap, Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet have also adopted the Soufriere Hospital, and installed In2Care traps to further protect patients and staﬀ from mosquito related illnesses. Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet are not alone. Sandals Resorts, as part of their corporate citizenship have adopted two schools. Through these initiatives, more traps are being installed throughout the island, expanding the range of coverage, accelerating FDL's goal of managing the Aedes aegypti mosquito in St. Lucia.
The SLHTA is making the traps purchased, available at a special concessionary rate to all their members, to assist with this distribution. FDL Pest Control Solutions has also partnered with the Ministry of Health in a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) funded pilot project in Gadette, and Morne Panache in Dennery, to install In2Care traps in these communities. Results to date indicate a reduction in the Aedes aegypti index in these communities. In February 2016, FDL Pest Control Solutions also installed In2Care traps on the resort Island – Palm Island in the Grenadines and further implemented an integrated mosquito management program to address both Aedes and Culex species of mosquitoes. The program to date has resulted in the reduction in the number of weekly foggings and a signiﬁcant reduction in mosquito complaints. Following a public launch of the In2Care trap on July 2nd 2016, many St. Lucian homes have also reported a signiﬁcant reduction in the mosquito population in as early as 14 days of installing the trap. The trap covers a radius of 400m (4300 Sq. Ft.). With the installation of the In2Care trap in select communities, various hotels, business houses, and the hundreds of homes in St. Lucia, increase use of the traps Island wide, will result in a reduction of Aedes species of mosquitoes and further reduce the Island’s exposure to any vectors disseminated by the Aedes mosquito.
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Singapore-born Manatees Thriving in Caribbean
Singapore-born Manatees Thriving in Caribbean By: Audrey Tan
hen Junior the manatee first lifted its nostrils out of the water after it was released into its new Caribbean enclosure, the humans watching with bated breath remembered to breathe as well.
Its best friend, Kai, also surfaced to similar cheers of whoops, claps and exclamations of “voila!”. The Caribbean island grouping of Guadeloupe, a French overseas territory, is now home to the two gentle giants. The two West Indian manatees from Singapore have settled down well in the brackish waters of the National Park of Guadeloupe, after their arduous 34-hour journey. The bachelors are now ready to receive their harem – 10 females which will soon join them from other zoos.
KAI The elder of the two, Kai was born at the Singapore Zoo on Oct 8, 2009, before it was transferred to the River Safari in March 2013. Kai loves food and will eat almost everything given to it, including cabbage, lettuce and sweet potato leaves. Its favourite treat, however, is high-fibre biscuits. But it will not jostle for food with the other manatees, often staying at the far end of the tank during feeding time. |
JUNIOR Junior was born on Feb 2, 2010, at the Singapore Zoo and was moved to the River Safari with Kai in March 2013. Unlike its friend, however, Junior is more selective about what it eats. Even though high-fibre biscuits are among its favourite foods, Junior will not approach people distributing them if it does not feel like it. He also enjoys the limelight more than quiet and calm Kai, often showing off with somersaults and barrel rolls while circling the exhibit at the River Safari.
Manatees are marine mammals and need to surface to breathe...
BEST OF FRIENDS BUT POLES APART The phrase “opposites attract” is an apt description for the relationship between Kai and Junior, the two manatees from the River Safari which are now in Guadeloupe as part of the world’s first manatee repopulation programme.
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
River Safari aquarist Doris Su, 28, recalls a moment when Kai surprised her. “I was feeding high-fibre biscuits to the manatees one day, and Kai suddenly swam away. I wondered why and observed him. “It turned out he was swimming towards Sundae (another male manatee), which was eating vegetables at the floating feeder. Kai nudged Sundae and returned for biscuitfeeding with Sundae following. I couldn’t believe Kai was willing to miss out on his biscuits to call Sundae over!”
Before it was put into a crate for its journey to the Caribbean on Aug. 7, for instance, Junior was seen making little turns underwater as it swam around the holding tank. Kai, however, stayed in a corner of the tank. Despite their differences, their keepers say Junior and Kai enjoy each other’s company. At the River Safari, they can often be seen swimming near each other in the morning. Kai and Junior’s arrival is the culmination of a decade-long effort to reintroduce the threatened aquatic giants, which have disappeared in Guadeloupe, to the region. Six-year-old Junior and seven-year-old Kai are part of the world’s first manatee repopulation programme that aims to bring their kind back to the Caribbean region, where they were hunted to extinction in the early 1900s.
The hope is that the duo, as well as 13 other manatees – 10 of them female – which will be joining them over the next five years, could help repopulate the region. GOING SWIMMINGLY After the vet checks, Junior and Kai were released into the enclosure. It was a new environment for them and they swam around exploring. When they took their first breath, everyone was so relieved. The manatees will be kept within a 15,000-hectare naturalised enclosure within the park, but their offspring will be introduced into the wild. The national park has said that the project could have important and widespread regional impact for improved conservation. Keith So, 40, deputy head aquarist at the River Safari, where Junior and Kai grew up, accompanied the marine mammals on the 19,600km voyage from Singapore to Guadeloupe. He said the animals were calm during the flight and did not have to be sedated. The whiskered herbivores made the journey on a chartered flight in sponge-lined crates, with an entourage of two veterinarians and a keeper. Said So: “After the vet checks, Junior and Kai were released into the enclosure. It was a new environment for them and they swam around exploring. “When they took their first breath, everyone was so relieved!” Manatees are marine mammals and need to surface to breathe, said So. “It was important for them to surface to breathe, or they may drown due to the stress of a new environment,” he said.
This would allow Kai, at 662kg, and Junior, at almost half a tonne, to be separated from the 12 other manatees in the same enclosure at the River Safari. This training was done with the help of treats: The manatees were rewarded with a biscuit whenever they followed their targets. The training helped with the crating process on Aug. 7, which went smoothly as the more than 30 keepers and handlers involved in the move communicated well, said So. Su had a tender moment with Junior that day. She had entered the holding tank just before the crating process began, and Junior greeted her by nudging her belly with his snout, Su said. “It seemed like he was asking me what was happening. I could only hold his head and gave him a really big kiss for assurance. He let go and swam away after that,” said Su. “It was painful to hear the closing of the aircraft cargo door when I was at the airport and heartbreaking to see the plane take off,” added Su, who flew to Guadeloupe on a different flight. “At that point, I finally accepted the fact that they were not coming back. “But there is a bigger purpose for them, and I am proud that they are part of the founding group to repopulate a manatee-extinct region.” ¤ Courtesy: The Straits Times
So and his colleague, Doris Su, 28, also spent about two weeks in Guadeloupe to make sure that the manatees settled in well. Said Su: “Everything happened really fast. Kai and Junior were still swimming around in River Safari the day before, and two days later, they were swimming under the Caribbean sun.” “I was very relieved when they were released back into the water, and when they started to eat well again, I knew they were all right.” But getting the manatees ready for the adventure of their lifetime took much longer. The team started a training regime for them from June to make the journey as stress-free as possible. So said: “The manatees get scared easily, and would get stressed out whenever new objects are introduced into their tank. “Since we needed to transport them using canvas sheets, we had to introduce (the sheets) to them slowly, and with positive reinforcement.” The keepers first left edges of the canvas sheet in the tank during feeding time – the manatees’ favourite part of the day – before putting the whole sheet in the water. They also fed the animals high-fibre biscuits as a treat and spoke to them calmly and gently. “Manatees are very intelligent. They can tell if the trainer is stressed, so it’s important for the handler to be calm when working with them as well,” said So. It was also important that the gentle giants learnt how to follow targets held by their trainers. BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
Matthew Aftermath: PM says Better Preparation Needed
Matthew Aftermath: PM says Better Preparation Needed rime Minister Allen Chastanet has predicted that it will take “a couple of months” for the agriculture sector to recover from the ravages of Tropical Storm Matthew.
“We have to do a better job of preparing ourselves for these storms because we can’t keep re-inventing the industry every time we have a major storm,” he declared.
He feels that Saint Lucia must do a better job of preparing for such weather events.
Chastanet noted that on some banana farms, big trees acted as wind breakers resulting in less damage to banana crops.
Chastanet spoke ahead of a recent meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Ezechiel Joseph, at which he expected to receive a report on the measures to be undertaken to get the industry back on its feet.
“I think that is something that has to be taken into consideration,” the Prime Minister explained.
“We are committed to making that happen,” he said. The Prime Minister reiterated that there is need to rebuild agriculture to make it “substantially” more resilient. He explained that his administration believes that storms will be recurring events.
Courtesy: St. Lucia Times
“Things like drainage – looking at the bridges that we have, because we are seeing the same things repeated in all the different constituencies – the debris is coming down; the water is not flowing fast enough and getting clogged by bridges, which then is causing the water to flow out of the river banks and having an impact on the farms and people’s homes” Chastanet stated. He recalled that the last time the Malgretoute river was cleared was in 1981. “Cul de Sac river – all these rivers, the same thing is occurring,” Chastanet observed. He said as part of the desilting programme the mouths of the rivers will have to be opened up. Chastanet noted that forests keep encroaching on the river bank and when there is heavy rain it causes larger trees to collapse, creating a bigger problem. BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
But he said it would not happen overnight. ¤
A Clarion Call for Entrepreneurship as A Clarion Call for Entrepreneurship as a Drive of Caribbean Economic Growth a Drive of Caribbean Economic Growth By: Dr. Sharon Didier
he global economic shift over the last 10 years has had a direct impact on the regional economic development in small island states in the Caribbean region. This shift has affected the structural face of the institutions that contributed in the past towards the viability of Caribbean economies. The global shift towards the new age of technology, in addition to the “youth explosion,” have left academics searching for strategies that could bolster the failing economies. Can tourism sustain these draining economies – or should there be another option? While they have had some beneficial impact on the regional economy, Caribbean trade agreements have not allowed the common man to reap the benefits of such agreements, which are now stuck in a political and nationalistic debate. This raises a second question – how can the common man participate personally in the region’s economic growth. As part of the search for answers to these questions, a recent study on entrepreneurship among 250 youth in St. Lucia could be the beginning of a conversation that may provide opportunities in the rise of the information age.
that young people have not really understood the level of commitment and personal equity that must be banked into such activities? Should other factors such as cultural values, perception, exposure, politics, and incentives be included in a new study? Was the focus of this study skewed towards too many intrinsic factors and not enough on some of the socioeconomic factors that clearly impact an individual’s ability to pursue self-employment? Consideration should also be made towards the development of a Model of Entrepreneurship to be used at the secondary level, where students are provided an opportunity to develop seed ideas. Support for such programs was clearly significant in the findings and should be addressed to facilitate and increase entrepreneurial activity. Clearly the conversation on driving the local economy via entrepreneurship opportunities is one that has momentum. The question becomes, “Who will champion the cause?” ¤
Entrepreneurship as a concept has been widely reviewed in the science of management as a window of opportunity for developing economies around the world. Entrepreneurship activity has been aligned with economic development in previous studies but there are few that have focused on how entrepreneurships develop in depressed economies with a focus on youth development. Should the economic development of depressed economies lean towards the social factors that may dictate the level of creativity and entrepreneurship that occur, or are there other behavioral factors that should considered in the mix? Factors such as wealth, fear, motivation, finance, support, passion and self-awareness were used to measure the youths’ propensity to become entrepreneurs in St. Lucia. The results of the study clearly indicate that the variables passion, support, self-awareness and motivation play the most pivotal role in the likelihood that young people in a small island state will engage in such activities. Surprisingly, the results of the survey indicated that wealth and finance were not as great a factor in individuals’ decisions. Fear was cited by some participants, but was a significant in their decision-making process. The results are telling and may provide economists with a motivation to provide incentives for the youth and target the educational programs towards independent thinkers in ways that have not yet been explored. Since this was an exploratory study, the findings provide some intriguing questions that should be addressed in a later study. Why is it that confidence does not seem to be a strong factor in their decision to become an entrepreneur? Can one assume
Dr. Sharon Didier is a professor at St. Joseph’s College
in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Marketing from California State University Dominquez Hills, an MBA from Monterey Institute of International Studies, a PhD in Business with a minor in Education from University of Santa Barbara, and a PhD in Organizational Management, with a minor in E-Commerce from Capella University. She is currently the Director of the Graduate Management Studies program at St. Joseph’s, where she has taught for over 15 years. Previously, she held the position as Chairperson of the Professional Organizational Management Program. In addition to her academic experience, Dr. Didier has over 30 years professional experience in Management and Marketing and is a respected author and lecturer on various business topics in North America and the Caribbean. BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
YOUTH IN FOCUS
St. Lucian Designer Takes Her Totes to the Top
Taribba do Nascimento
St. Lucian Designer Takes Her Totes to the Top
Photography: Kareem Stanley
By: Sarah Munn
ost creative people show signs of their talents at an early age. For designer and même bête founder Taribba do Nascimento, 35, it began in secondary school, when she created her first clothing label, called Ghani Wear. “I made really cheap and horribly tacky outfits for my friends – they loved it,” says Taribba, who grew up in Marisule. “We all loved it and thought it was the start of something big.” Ghani Wear eventually died out, however, and after Taribba left secondary school, it wasn’t until about 10 years later that she started sewing again. But during that 10year period, she gained global experience, attending university in Canada and then, after graduating, living and working in Ethiopia for five years. “I got a job [in Ethiopia] to assist business women in becoming export-ready,” Taribba says. “It was where I saw how small businesses can thrive. I saw very young girls running their own business and I saw how strong and independent they were, and I admired that.” Taribba also developed a strong appreciation for locally made items in Ethiopia. “Ethiopians are so proud of their culture, their heritage and basically anything BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Ethiopian. It made me want to do something for St. Lucians to boast about as well. I find now a lot of customers buy my stuff when they travel to bring as gifts and always use the same line, ‘I want them to see that we have good stuff in St. Lucia too.’ This is the kind of pride I saw in Ethiopia that I wanted to make Lucians feel as well.” Taribba fell in love with leathercraft in Ethiopia and honed her handbag-design skills there. Later, she trained in Florence, Italy, to further develop her craft. In 2009, she decided to turn her passion into a business, and même bête was born. The name, même bête, comes from the St. Lucian Creole saying, which means, “same animal, same fur.” “I chose it as it is a pun on the fact that I use leather for my bags,” Taribba says. “It also translates loosely that we are all the same, so for me it is a name that unifies us. I can use African print, madras, leather or any material and it doesn’t matter because, même bête.” “I just wanted so much of the brand to have St. Lucian recognition that I knew right away that I wanted a Creole name,” she adds. “I realised that once you hear the name, you never forget it!” Taribba makes all même bête pieces by hand in St. Lucia, working with leather and various types of traditional cloths, such as African wax print and local madras. Her
Photography: Mygell Felix
designs are sold in St. Lucia, Barbados, Tortola and Trinidad, and were recently showcased in England, at Africa Fashion Week London, where she debuted her new men’s wear collection, Jonny Shorts. Earlier this year, Taribba was recognised for her years of effort and creativity, winning Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2016 St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.
Photography: Kareem Stanley
Même bête handbags are available online at memebete.com and at the même bête atelier, located upstairs Tropics Boutique on the corner of Micoud Street and Broglie Street in Castries. Taribba also holds regular pop-up shops across the island, so follow même bête on Facebook and Instagram to find out where she’ll be next.
5 Questions with Taribba
BF: What prompted the idea to get into handbag design? T: I feel like bags are easy to sell, they don’t need to fit, they just need
to match! I love fashion, but I feel like the right accessories can enhance any outfit.
Photography: Kareem Stanley
BF: How would you describe your design style? T: Colourful and practical. The designs themselves are relatively simple
because I maintain that the bags need to be practical. As a working mom, it is important for me to have a certain level of comfort in my style. And I always include colour, because même bête is inspired by the colours of Caribbean life.
BF: What have been some of your strategies for success as a businesswoman? T: Getting the supply chain right. In my line of work there are so many inputs that I need to import and it was very important for me to ensure that I had the right supply chain so as not to disrupt production. I also market very aggressively. Every moment is an opportunity to market the brand. I try not to lose momentum, so even when it is just a social activity I always act as brand ambassador. You never know who you will meet because you are in the right place at the right time.
BF: Any career highlights you’d like to share with us? T: It may be small, but my fondest moment was my first Christmas pop-
up shop where I sold out in two hours. I couldn’t believe that people were lining up outside of the shop before I opened. At that point is when I realised that I had underestimated the demand and how fast the brand was growing. This was truly a turning point for me and made me start thinking of expansion.
BF: What’s next for you and même bête? T: Many people have been pushing for me to go into clothing. I feel that the market is already saturated, but there is a gap for men’s clothing. I recently launched the Jonny Shorts, which have been well received, so we may continue to expand on that and hopefully start a même bête movement for men.
Photography: Mygell Felix BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
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IN THE KNOW
Brazilian Business Mission Set for St. Lucia St. Lucia Encourages ‘Open Skies’ Policy
Brazilian Business Mission Set for St. Lucia
he Embassy of Brazil in Saint Lucia – and local entrepreneurs — are preparing to host a major investment mission with numerous opportunities for business that will also strengthen the good ties between the giant South American nation and its tiny Caribbean neighbor. According to Brazil’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, Sergio Couri, the mission will comprise investors and parliamentarians bent on doing business with Saint Lucian entrepreneurs and other business persons, in a wide range of sectors.
St. Lucia Encourages ‘Open Skies’ Policy T
he St. Lucia government said it is undertaking initiatives to encourage an open sky policy and introduce competition.
“Our government is in discussion with Seaborne Airlines with the hope of attracting a Puerto Rico flight here. We are also having discussions with Caribbean Airlines,” said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, a critic of the cash-strapped regional airline, LIAT. Chastanet, a former tourism and aviation minister here, pointed to the need to address what he described as the Civil Aviation Authority problem in the sub-regional Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to ensure that investors are treated fairly. “The authority needs to do what it is supposed to do and act as a regulatory agency as it pertains to the safety of the traveling public and not be involved in the commercial aspect of civil aviation,” he said. In July, Chastanet announced that St. Lucia would not provide any financial support to the regional airline until it is restructured. LIAT is owned by the shareholder governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Last week, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said Kingstown would not give financial support to the regional carrier until it improves its service to the island. Similar threats had been made earlier by the Dominica government, while the St. Kitts-Nevis and Grenada governments have complained also at the shoddy service being offered to their territories by the Antigua-based carrier. At the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC), which ended in Barbados over the weekend, regional tourism ministers were urged to resolve the problems related to inter-regional travel. Aviation experts addressing the conference said opening the market to other carriers would benefit the entire region and help reduce the cost and increase travel across the region. ¤
Courtesy: St. Lucia News Online BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Sept Dec / / Jan Oct
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The Brazilian Business Mission is scheduled to be here for November 11-17, 2016 and it will comprise 15 members anxious to grab new and open opportunities to invest in Saint Lucia. The trip is being organized by a Brazil-based group called Nomad Development, which also has teams in place in both capitals. The wide range of business opportunities that will come with the Brazilian Mission will include prospects for investment partnerships in: construction and infrastructural development, tourism and hotel development, agriculture and agro industries, farming and food production, nutrition, medicine, sports, physical fitness, health and beauty, cultural development, training and investment consultancies, language development, alternative energy, water and electricity. According to Ambassador Couri, “This Brazilian Business Mission will offer this wide range of opportunities to the government and people of Saint Lucia, through the business community.” Sergio Couri Brazil’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia
He said during their week here, the visiting investors “will meet with members of the local business community and their organisations, to discuss how to merge their synergies to create new investments that both countries and people will be proud of.” The ambassador says planning is well under way in Saint Lucia and Brazil for the mission’s arrival. “But,” he added, “ahead of their arrival, interested Saint Lucian business persons and entities will be given the opportunity to indicate their interest and arrange interviews.” Ambassador Couri said the Brazilian Mission “is also interested in doing business with businesses in other member-states of the OECS that may also be present in Saint Lucia.” ¤ Courtesy:St. Lucia Times
The Culture of Heritage By: A. L. Dawn French
IMHO: The Culture of Heritage
Dawn French is a prolific writer who has
appeared in numerous publications over the years including “Creation Fire” in 1990 published by CAFRA and “Women’s Future” in 2000 published by UNIFEM. She is the Saint Lucia National Arts Festival 2013 Winner of the Literary Arts for Fiction; her works are available online. ver the years a particular thought has gnawed at me, I think the time has come to allow the thought to see the light of day.
I have long suspected that what is presented as Saint Lucian Culture within the context of this modern society in which we live is not actually our CULTURE, but is in fact our HERITAGE. I have personally defined culture as what is happening now and heritage as what happened back in the day. But that was only In My Humble Opinion (IMHO). So I turned to the dictionary. CULTURE: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) HERITAGE: the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation (MerriamWebster Dictionary) First let us not mistake culture with cultural industries; the vast majority of what is the culture of a people will never be an industry e.g. Greetings. How we say good morning, good afternoon and good night --- oh wait bad example. That is heritage, not culture as many us don’t even grunt at each other, much less say morning. Moving right along. I assure readers that it is by mere coincidence that I write this article in October: Creole Heritage Month. Pause here for a moment to observe the contradiction between the title and its marketing. October is Creole Heritage Month in Saint Lucia, but what is usually stated is that it is the month to celebrate our culture.
I have personally defined culture as what is happening now and heritage as what happened back in the day. But that was only In My Humble Opinion (IMHO). So I turned to the dictionary.
are our HERITAGE and not our CULTURE. So now the fat will hit the fan. What is our culture?
Based on definition and my understanding the culture of our dear island is a. b. c. d. e. f. g.
Public/ Private Sector distinct lack of “ease of doing business” texting – ask any teacher about how essays are now written, the rise of the gangs and the violence that gets reported every day, the Jamaican accent among folks who have yet to travel, the dry sex we see at Carnival, the systematic deconstruction of the English Language and its reconstruction, the slow death of the Creole Language and the emergence of a replacement. If you disagree on that last point ask any eighty-year old to communicate in the language or listen to the creole news. Too much English in the Creole.
This mini list may be distasteful to many, you may even disagree, but IMHO, this is the culture of this island. The question that I now present is: will it mature and become our heritage? Over twenty years ago a friend said to me: this is the Sunday morning music of the years to come. On 3 October, 2015 BBC News published an article: “French rebel over music language quotas”. The sub-story focused on the fact that the… French governments worry terribly that their island of culture is disappearing under a global tide of Anglo-Saxon pulp.
Should we worry too? Culture/Heritage cannot be controlled and any conscious effort to do so renders the target of the intervention false. Culture/Heritage just is. In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) Based on definition I would say not so. Do not misunderstand what is often presented as our culture is really our heritage. me I love my country and what it has produced and will produce. I cast no judgement and at the risk of the ire of Bonne Jounen Kwéyòl Entennasyonnal tout mon . ¤ many I would state that the La Woz and Margariute Festivals BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Storytelling in Health Care By: Dr. Takira Glasgow
Storytelling in Health Care Dr. Glasgow is a diabetes physician with her office at Tapion Hospital, Castries. She has a radio programme on Radio St. Lucia called “Your Diabetes Health”
“I can tell when the weather is changing because my joints hurt.” “My tongue felt very dry and I started to drink a lot of water.”
hat is the experience of a person with a disability in every day life? How easy or difficult is it to access health care? What is the experience of the patient who has surgery, the effects of anaesthesia, the woman who gives birth in today’s hospitals? The narrative voice, with a sample of these experiences can inform improvements in health care and can remind health care workers of the patient’s vulnerability, anxiety and gratitude to find authentic kindness rather than to have to suppress memories of treatment viewed as dismissive. The narrative voice can influence the emotional outcome of the experience.
these persons to reach a diagnosis, to personalise care, to understand the impact of the disease and to seek methods of coping. The medical school ward round is not so stressful if the student realises that the patient’s story is what matters. An assortment of medical facts on a clipboard become the interpretation of the story of an illness. The new doctor may begin by fitting the narrative into the structured and sterile list of complaints and medical history leading to a management plan. Later, with experience based on repeated patient stories certain ‘classic’ symptoms and revelations emerge; skills that cannot easily be replicated by Dr. Google. Storytelling can make doctors better doctors. Our ancestors were arguably involved in observational research and medical solutions through trial and error. Research has shown that cultural differences exist in the effectiveness of story telling on behaviour change. Conversations, for example via support group workshops, group counselling, guided discussions, informal talks and interactive presentations have been found to be effective to convince participants to change behaviour in a positive way, particularly in non-Western societies with a history of rich oral tradition. In other words, for certain cultural groups, storytelling can help persons to overcome fears that interfere with their management, can increase engagement and can encourage and motivate others; stories are more memorable than a list of facts. Public health centre services in most countries require speed and efficiency over time for interaction and active listening. After a few minutes, the client is interrupted so that specific symptoms can be documented. Physicians must pay equal or more attention to envelopes containing blood test results and the entry of data into computers than to the expression of the client. Storytelling in medicine can reduce the number of diagnostic tests, promote better use of resources, may provide a more accurate diagnosis and may increase client cooperation. There may be also be a missed opportunity for a moment of empathy and compassion.
Our ancestors were arguably involved in observational research and medical solutions through trial and error.
The World Health Organization has accepted that evidence in health care also includes narrative research. Narrative methods enhance qualitative research and allow health systems to become more ‘people centred’. A narrative or story can be defined as a subjective version of events told to a listener or reader. The stories have a beginning, characters, complicating event, resolution and finally evaluation of the events.
Storytelling in medical practice allows a person to express his or her individual experiences of illness and to make sense of the experiences. The patient is able to share a unique point of view; this allows more empathy, understanding and communication between and among doctors, patients and caregivers. Communication allows BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Patient storytelling humanises healthcare. ¤
HEALTH & WELLNESS
How to Start Healing After a Tragedy By: Dr. Tanya Destang-Beaubrun
write this with a heavy heart, the week after yet another funeral of a someone I know. It seems we have all been inundated with sudden deaths amongst friends, and acquaintances. Our hearts break for the young children left behind. Our hearts break for us too, as the holes left in our lives loom large- above and around us. How many times must we watch someone tearfully speak about their loved one? How many times must we explain to our children why bad things happen to good people?
How to Start Healing After a Tragedy
It all seems too much to bear, and yet we must. How do take care of ourselves in times like these? One of the ways of starting the healing process is to practice self –care.
Here are a few tools that I’ve used to help me cope. 1)
Don’t run away from your feelings. Feel your feelings. I cried when I heard about the last death , tears of sadness, and anger. The memories came flooding through me. How could this be happening again? I leaned into my pain and sadness and anger; let it wash over me and allowed it to flow through me. The feelings came over and over again, with each new update, each new Facebook post, every time I saw a loved one cry. I felt their pain. I felt MY pain.
Take care of your body, with adequate rest, water and clean eating. It is very tempting to remain glued to the TV or Facebook getting more details, trying to make sense of how and why? Rest your mind and body by getting adequate sleep. Keep hydrated with adequate amounts of water. Avoid processed foods, with added sugars and salt. Treat your body as a sacred vessel through which your work in the World will come through.
Take care of your mind, with journaling, spending time in silence, and positive affirmations. Get your thoughts and feelings out of your mind and on to paper. Write a letter describing your feelings. Spend time in silence, connect with your inner voice and let the answers come. Write out positive affirmations on pieces of paper or on your phone to remind you to focus on the good in the World. What we focus on expands. Let’s all focus on love, kindness, and peace.
Take care of your spirit with prayer, and meditation It is tempting to lose faith, to lose hope. Connect with a Higher Power, pray for peace, for strength, for guidance, for healing. I pray for the deceased and their families. For wisdom and guidance for our leaders. I prayed for me too – to heal my heart, and soothe my grief. I prayed for a World where love and peace prevail; where accidents and illnesses no longer touch us.
Practice forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean we condone the act. It means that we are releasing ourselves from the anger and bitterness. It means we are no longer giving our power over to the perpetrator. By practicing forgiveness, we are giving ourselves the gift of freedom; freedom from pain and anger and allowing joy and happiness to replace these feelings.
6) Volunteer, Give of your time, and your talents. In times like these, we often feel helpless. Volunteer at a shelter for the homeless, sign a petition for better legislation for alcohol related accidents, do something that you’re passionate about. We do not have to sit back and feel helpless. We can do something to heal our World. I believe that we are inherently good and kind. I believe that Love will prevail. For as Nelson Mandela said: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ¤ BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Glaucoma…The Silent Thief of Sight
Glaucoma… The Silent Thief of Sight By: Glad Taylor
“The Goal of any Treatment is to Prevent loss of Vision, as Vision loss from Glaucoma is Irreversible.”
What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma refers to a group of related eye disorders that all cause damage to the optic nerve. The Optic Nerve carries information on vision from the eye to the brain. Because most cases of glaucoma have few or no early symptoms, about half of the people with glaucoma don’t know they have it. For this reason, glaucoma often progresses undetected until the optic nerve already has been irreversibly damaged, with varying degrees of permanent vision loss. The two most common types of Glaucoma are: Primary open-angle glaucoma. This common type of glaucoma gradually reduces your peripheral vision without other symptoms. By the time you notice it, permanent damage already has occurred, because the Optic Nerve has been permanently damaged. By doing various Glaucoma Eye Tests the Optometrist or Ophthalmologist can detect signs to prevent Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma.
*Acute angle-closure glaucoma. This form of glaucoma produces sudden symptoms such as eye pain, headaches, halos around lights, dilated pupils, vision loss, red eyes, nausea and vomiting. These signs constitute a medical emergency. The attack may last for a few hours, and then return again for another round, or it may be continuous without relief. Each attack can cause progressively more vision loss. Who are Most likely to have Glaucoma? • People of African/ Caribbean Descent over age 40 • Everyone over age 60. • People with a Family History of Glaucoma What tests should your Optical Care Provider do to check for Symptoms of Glaucoma? BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
• A Regular Eye Examination is important.The optometrist uses ophthalmoscopy to check the Optic disc at the back of the eye to see if there has been any “cupplng” distortions, created by pressure • A test is done using a tonometer. This checks the pressure in the eye which can be raised by a build up of too much fluid in the eye. • Depending on the results of the Ophthalmoscopy and Tonometer, the Optometrist may recommend a visual field test, which will show if any peripheral Vision has been lost • The Ophthalmologist can also do a Pachymeter test. This determines the thickness of the cornea.The thinner the cornea the more care has to be taken with regard to accurate tests of the eye pressure using the Tonometer. The Ophthalmologist may do several pressure checks to ensure the reading is accurate. • The Ophthalmologist may also do a Gionoscopy test. This is using a special lens to see the outflow of the aqueous liquid in your eye and determine if there are any blockages, which are causing the build up of fluid pressure.
Treatment for Glaucoma If a family member has Glaucoma it is important that all members of the family receive regular annual eye examinations,to ensure there are no Glaucoma symptoms . • The first step in Glaucoma treatment is eye drops to reduce the build up of fluid pressure. The more commonly used eye drops now cost $15 ecd and Last approximately one month. These should not be missed. Check if your Optometrist keeps a full stock of these Eyedrops for easy replacement Full instructions will be given on how to use the eyedrops. Stopping use the prescribed eye drops is often the main cause of Vision Loss in Glaucoma • If the outflow of aqueous liquid is being blocked a surgery procedure to open the trabulectomy mesh work can be performed. This procedure can also be done using laser. • In some cases a small stent has to be inserted in the outflow meshwork to prevent any further blockages ¤
ST. LUCIA BUSINESS AWARDS 2017 January 17th, 2017 – The Johnson Centre in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia The St. Lucia Business Awards is organized by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce. They reward excellence in various categories, and target all businesses, large and small, celebrating the achievements of the private sector. For further info: www.stluciachamber.org
17th ANNUAL CARIBBEAN ENERGY CONFERENCE January 26th & 27th, 2017 – Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Now in its 17th year, electric industry executives gather at Platts Caribbean Energy Conference to network with colleagues and hear details on the latest power initiatives. The Conference will cover fields like diversified energy matrix, fuel price, choice, technology options. For further info: http://www.platts.com/events/2015/pc502/index
CARIBBEAN TRAVEL MARKETPLACE 2017 January 31st - February 2nd, 2017 – Atlantis Paradis Island, The Bahamas Caribbean Travel Marketplace affords tourism suppliers the opportunity to meet face-toface with wholesalers from around the world selling Caribbean vacation travel over the course of two days of business meetings. For further info: www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com
Capacity Caribbean 2017 Feb 7th & 8th, 2017, San Juan, Puerto Rico Celebrating its 10th year running in 2016, Capacity Caribbean is the only wholesale telecommunications event for the entire Caribbean market. The event aids to unite the local telecommunications market with international service provider. For further info: http://www.capacityconferences.com/Capacity-Caribbean.html
49th CARIBBEAN HARDWARE & CONSTRUCTION TRADE SHOW February 11th & 12th, 2017. Hilton Embassy Suites, Dorado del Mar Beach Resort, Puerto Rico Manufacturers and suppliers of construction products and material, electrical products, hand tools, construction material, power tools, paint products will be present. Exhibitors will come from USA, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Panama, Korea, Tortola, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
MAJOR MOVES Major Moves
Chairman of the FCCA Executive Committee Adam Goldstein, President and COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., will become Chairman of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), effective January 1, 2017. The announcement was made at the recent FCCA Cruise Conference & Trade Show, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc and the current FCCA Chairman, broke the news during the event’s CEO Roundtable, which featured both him and Goldstein as they shared insight into the inner workings of their industry and their cruise lines, while addressing questions tailored to the region and increasing the audience’s cruise tourism business. “I am honoured to have served as FCCA Chairman for a total of more than a decade,” Arison said. “During this span, I have watched the growth of not only the association, but also the partners we serve, and I know that Adam Goldstein will continue this mutual growth.”
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Director of Public of Prosecutions Popular criminal lawyer Daasrean Greene has been appointed to the post of Director of Public of Prosecutions (DPP). His contract will last for one year and he joins Sixtus Stephen Brette, who became the acting Deputy DPP in June. Greene studied at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and has been involved in legal practice since 1999. According to St. Lucia News Online, western diplomats had urged the previous St. Lucia Labour Party government to appoint both a DPP and a Deputy DPP to manage the backlog of cases and the multiple adjournments that result in delays in the criminal justice system. ¤
CARICOM Youth Ambassador for St. Lucia The Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC) and the Saint Lucia National Preparatory Committee for the Jounen Kweyol CARICOM Reparations Baton Relay and Youth Rally have congratulated Alisha Ally, the island’s newest Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Youth Ambassador and welcomed her role as coordinator of the 2016 CARICOM Reparations Baton Relay at the end of October. Ally, a senior staffer at the Government Information Service (GIS), will serve as Saint Lucia’s CARICOM Youth Ambassador for the next two years – and one of her first assignments was assisting the Saint Lucia NRC to host the inaugural CARICOM Reparations Baton Relay planned as part of 2016 Kweyol Heritage Month observances there. During her two-year stint, Ally will generally assist CARICOM with integrating the perspectives of young people into national, regional and international policy. The CARICOM Youth Ambassador Program was launched in Saint Lucia in 1993 by the heads of government, to mark the regional grouping’s 20th anniversary and was formally instituted in 1994. Since its inception, the Youth Ambassador Program has contributed to increased youth knowledge and awareness of CARICOM issues and priorities, while working towards raising the profile of young people at the national and regional levels.
New Administrative Supervisor at J.E. Bergasse
New Human Resource Manager at J.E. Bergasse
New President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture
Menellia Valcent commenced her career as an Administrative Assistant at AGRICO (Agricultural Consultancy & Technical Services Limited) in 2008, during which she facilitated and executed a number of administrative tasks directly relating to the timely and effective execution of environmental projects; including the Riverbank Assessment Project, Biodiversity Project and the still ongoing Pilot Project for Climate Resilience funded by the CIF before taking up a new role as the Sales Administrator at J.E. Bergasse & Company Limited in 2011.
Vina joined J.E. Bergasse and Co. Ltd. in October 2016. While she does not possess years of experience in human resource management, her wealth of knowledge and experience in the fields of journalism, public relations and consumer relations places her in great stead to function proficiently in the field of effective communication which in turn equips her to better deal with matters relating to the interests of people. She has the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to fully comprehend the vital importance of personnel management towards ensuring that companies like J.E.Bergasse and Co. Ltd. maintain, retain and sustain its competitive edge, and as such, she is ‘ready to hit the road running’. Vina’s goal and purpose revolves around promoting and marketing the inescapable fact that businesses and organizations all work through people.
Martin Dorville Managing Director of Massy Stores (SLU) Ltd. is the New President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture. Mr. Dorville was elected unopposed at the 132nd Annual General Meeting of the Chamber held at the Royal St. Lucian Hotel on Wednesday 16th November, 2016.
From there on out she has devoted her time to learning and acquiring valuable knowledge in selling J.E. Bergasse’s portfolio of products as well as her the development of her supervisory skills, whilst working alongside both the marketing and sales managers of the company, which landed her the role of Administrative Supervisor effective August 1, 2016. Valcent currently possesses a Professional Certificate in Supervisory Management from the University of the West Indies, as well as a Certificate in International Leadership and Organizational Behavior via distance learning from Università Bocconi of Italy. As part of her personal accomplishments, she is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and maintains a personal development blog and podcast on iTunes, as she continuously strives to motivate others.
Currently pursuing a Masters in Business Administration, she has learnt many invaluable lessons which bear directly on human resource development, personnel management, employee evaluation, employee development, compensation and rewards systems, which are all applicable to the furtherance of the Company. Vina holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Ming Chuan University in Taiwan.
Mr. Dorville takes over the Presidency at a time when the Chamber is seeking to accelerate the implementation of it new strategic plan. Having served on the Chamber Board since 2011, he has been a driving force behind the push for the institution to be more results oriented, member focused and proactive in meeting the needs of its members. Mr. Dorville brings to the Chamber a wealth of experience and knowledge of the business community and business climate, having served in various capacities in several firms over the years, at the operational, management and leadership level. The new President has committed to provide the time and leadership required by the institution at this crucial time of change and has called on all members to join in this effort, as he is quite aware that all the answers and solutions do not lie within the Board of Directors alone.
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
NATURE OF BUSINESS
Adventure World Inc
Andy- Alexis Edward Hilary Mauricette Wenceslaus John Issac Lydia Justin
Lady Lorde & Associates Inc.
Provision of communication services
Janeka Simon Binta Brown Tamara Lorde Jemima Lorde-Bevan
New Deep South Construction Company Limited
Construction & Related services
Uranus Palton ,John Samy
4 Star Management Inc
Restaurant, boutique hotel and training in the hospitality industry
Guy Lucien Cabrera Aurelie Cabrera Erwann Nedellec
Estherâ€™s Dream Ltd
Production of food items, oils and cosmetics.
Lincoln Hunte, Wayne Daniel Henson Hunte
Vent Express Limited
Sale of air ventilation products
Heather Norton David Farndon
Sadoo Investments Inc.
Innocent Sadoo Owen B. Sadoo
AIM Construction Co. Ltd.
Ivan St. Rose Ambrose Nicholas St. Rose
Pro Services and Techs Inc.
Construction security and general commercial services
Omega Springs Limited
Bottling and sale of water
Cleopatra Peter John Fitzcarol Peter
Bay Services Inc.
To provide building construction/ appliances and equipment services
Maher Chreiki Kai Karim-Mohammed Ivan Trevelyan Tobiere
Island Escape Vacations Ltd
To engage in real estate, construction, marketing, property management, entertainment
Cybelle Brown Donald E. Gross
PARC Solutions Inc.
Project management architectural designs refurbishment/renovations/ construction/consultancy
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
Sylvanus Dorville Caroline Brown Mytil
NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY
NATURE OF BUSINESS
Promotion and entertainment
Xpert Group Inc
Printery, imported sport services etc.
Chakiro Holdings Inc
Property holdings company
Charmaine M. Gardner Ross J.F Gardner Kim F.M Gardner
Mila Holdings Inc.
Real estate and property development
Ian Stephenson Andrea St Rose
CUNA Caribbean Insurance OECS Limited.
Warren McDonald Andre K. Goindoo Paul M. Treinen John H. Wallace
MiQi Marketing Limited
Literature for advertising and marketing services
A&C Construction & Landscaping Services Ltd.
Construction and landscaping
All Luxury Properties Ltd
Real estate activities on a fee or contract
Amraan K. James Carlene C. Glace
CRS Fresh Farms Products Inc.
Export and handling local food
Ronnie Sealy Gemma Gale Evans Laurent
Premier Hopkins Ltd
Running of cafeteria
Property holdings, real estate, building, construction and other related activities
Rap Holdings Finance Company SL Limited
Engineering and engineering management consultancy
Justin Roosevelt Sealy
Southern Properties Limited ARISS Inc.
Christopher Reginald Owen
BusinessFocus Dec /Jan
ADVERTISERâ€™S INDEX COMPANY
Northern Electrical Supplies Ltd
Peter & Co
Bank of St. Lucia Bay Gardens Resorts
Celestial Self Development Centre
Regional Business Systems
St. Lucia Distillers
St. Lucia National Archives
Drive-A-Matic 57 EC Global Insurance
St Lucia National Trust
Travel & Leisure Centre
FDL Pest Control Solutions
Windward & Leewards Brewery Ltd
First Citizens Ad
Hot Sports Auto Rental
BusinessFocus Dec / Jan
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OECSBusinessFocus Jan / Mar |
SLHTA Celebrating 50 Years