The St. Lucia Tourist Board, Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, Ministry of Social Transformation and Ministry of Agriculture yesterday, August 6 were presented with commitment letters from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to support various projects undertaken by these respective institutions.
The fund, which is in its first year of operation, has managed to garner EC$1.3 million to date from participating hotels through guests.
President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) Karolin Troubetzkoy said: “We are happy with the support we have been getting from the hotels and also pleased with the support from the guests, we are very encouraged by the contribution. It has exceeded our expectations for this financial year.”
The fund, Troubetzkoy stated, has been looking at creative ways of raising capital to support programmes for the well-being of people locally.
Manager for Administration and Finance of SLHTA Yola St Jour said that “the mandate of the fund is to make a greater contribution to projects and to add value to the local tourism sector”.
The fund will provide the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School with EC$80,000 to assist with rehabilitation of the food and nutrition room, the Ministry of Social Transformation with EC$70,000 for an after-school programme in Ciceron and Faux-a-Caud, and the Ministry of Agriculture with funds to host an agricultural symposium.
The Ministry of Tourism will also be presented with US$192,000 for the support of an additional flight into the island through Air Canada.
Education Minister Robert Lewis commended the SLTHA for the initiative. He noted that many of the projects that the SLTHA are currently funding are projects that government find challenging to provide funding for.
The TEF to date has invested EC$340,230 towards the following projects: furnishing and refurbishing of the Canaries Infant School after the Christmas Eve disaster; support of the school feeding programme; helped in the denotation of mattresses and bottled water to family that lost their home due to the flooding; and donated food hampers to 100 hundred families, among others.
Recipients of the grant expressed gratitude for the assistance.