New Year address from the Minister of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries, Hon. Lorne D. C. Theophilus
Oh what a year 2012 has been! Saint Lucia as a destination faced challenges with airlift from our major source market (US), and at the end of the year from the region, in addition to those brought on by mother nature in one form or another, like Hurricane Sandy that threatened to deal a death blow to visitor traffic from our key corridor in the North-east USA, to general economic crises in Europe.
As a destination, we sought to plot new strategic directions and maintain our competitive edge in an environment of tough regional and global competition. We sought to streamline our operations administratively and create greater fiscal responsibility through more targeted marketing endeavors, thus making us a more progressive and productive outfit.
We were able to end 2012 diffidently. This is noteworthy given all of the uncertainties we faced. As we forge ahead in 2013 we intend to announce early in the year, a series of initiatives we believe, will not only invigorate industry partner but the entire population and indeed the marketplace.
One of the more exciting initiatives will be the launch of the ‘New Creative’ for the destination. This has become necessary as we strive to redefine our position in the marketplace as a true leader in destination marketing. We expect to see a new tagline for our destination, one we think that will resonate with locals and visitors alike.
Another is the complete makeover of our flagship special event ‘Saint Lucia Jazz.’ Again, we believe the changes to that event, to be announced in January, will reignite passion and excitement amongst potential patrons from around the globe.
Many plans are in the making for all of the marketing and promotional activities scheduled for 2013 which speak to achieving our goals and objectives which will be presented to you in January. It is going to be a fantastic but busy year and we look forward to seeing much more of the team spirit we saw in 2012.
I believe closer collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association will be the catalyst to success as we strive to maintain and sustain our position as a leading tourism destination.
Together, we won well over 50 international accolades last year. As we gear up to surpass that this year, let me take this opportunity to wish all involved in the business of tourism a very productive and enterprising 2013.