On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony was among several guests invited to witness the re-branding of Jalousie to Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
The hotel, which is situated between Saint Lucia’s Majestic Pitons in Soufriere, has had a long history in the development of the tourism product in Saint Lucia and the prime minister anticipates that with new owners, management and the commitment of the staff, Sugar Beach will continue to grab the attention of potential visitors and add value to our tourism package.
Prime Minister Anthony, in his remarks, spoke highly of the effect of the “personal touch” in our fragile tourism industry.
“In times of harsh competition and difficult economic times, you are the difference in this sector,” Dr. Anthony said, commending the staff for their dedication and service.
To highlight the impact and importance of the service provided by workers in the tourism sector, the prime minister proceeded to share a letter dated December 31, 2012, in which a visitor shared his experience in Saint Lucia.
Mr. T. Scott Jones, a trial lawyer from East Tennessee, who had just returned home from a holiday in Saint Lucia, wrote to commend the Government of Saint Lucia for what he describes as “the efficient manner in which the island services were operated, all the way from the airport to the municipal services provided throughout the various towns that we had the pleasure of experiencing”.
The highlight of his correspondence, however, was his words of commendation and admiration for Mr. Linus Fontenelle, who served as his taxi driver during his family vacation in Saint Lucia.
Mr. Jones wrote: “I wanted to take the time to formally write you relative to an individual, Linus Fontenelle, whom my family and I had the pleasure of interacting with during our stay in your fine country. This gentleman operated a taxi service, which we had the pleasure of taking advantage of, and citizens like Mr. Fontenelle need to be recognized for their part in stimulating and encouraging the tourist industry in St. Lucia. Mr. Fontenelle was professional, efficient, safety-conscious, and punctual throughout our visit. That alone would be one would normally expect of a taxi operator.”
Mr. Scott Jones went on to point out details of his interaction with Mr. Fontenelle, which moved him to bring to the attention of the prime minister, the dedication of this taxi driver.
Mr. Jones further stated: “His attention to detail and the fact that he went above and beyond the call of duty by waiting over five hours at an airport past our scheduled arrival time so that my family and I would have a ride back from Castries to the Coconut Bay Resort is what occasions this correspondence. Many would have left and assumed that we would find some other way back; however, Mr. Fontenelle regularly inquired, and was the pleasant smiling face that we had when we landed at the airport following our day trip to the Grenadines.
“He then made sure that my family was taken to dinner, as he was well aware that we would not be able to get any food at the resort where we were staying after having arrived so late in the evening. This thoughtfulness and consideration by this gentleman has my family and I already planning a return trip to your country during the 2013 year. In addition, I will recommend Mr. Fontenelle and the country of St. Lucia to anyone and everyone who I come in contact with.”
The prime minister, who shared the letter previously at the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort Staff Awards, says he hopes that these words of praise would encourage all workers in the tourism sector to continue to be the best representatives of Saint Lucia.
“This is the difference between the product and the experience. We all have the responsibility to be ambassadors for our country. I must commend Mr. Linus Fontenelle and all who go out of their way to ensure that our visitors have a pleasurable stay. Your contribution is invaluable,” Dr. Anthony stated.