The Government of Saint Lucia is progressively continuing the drive to bring increased investment, sustainable employment, economic activity and development to the south of the island.
The latest in a series of projects – tourism, agriculture and I.T. related – which are earmarked for the south, took the Government to the West Coast village of Choiseul where the sod-turning ceremony for Fairmont Saint Lucia was held on Thursday June 29th 2017.
The 120-room luxury hotel, with 40 private residential villas, expected to open in late 2019 is an undertaking of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, now part of AccorHotels, and GP GROUP JSC.
Excited persons from the community of Choiseul/Saltibus as well as specially invited guests attended the afternoon sod-turning ceremony for the eco-friendly resort at Sab Wisha Beach.
Parliamentary Representative for the area and Minister for Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Bradly Felix explained that this ceremony marked an important day in history for the people of Choiseul.
“We will witness the beginning of the long-awaited infrastructural transformation that Choiseul needs in order to bring out its true potential and generate a greater level of economic activity,” Minister Felix noted. “As a community rich in culture, arts and craft, talent, creativity and natural assets, we welcome the construction of this luxury hotel in Sab Wisha, which will further enhance and augment the natural ambiance of our simply beautiful community.”
The Minister said Choiseul is poised to become a significant contributor to the Saint Lucia’s economic, social and financial growth and development.
“It is imperative therefore that we take full advantage of this opportunity by bringing out our best talent, craft work, knowledge and skills in enabling Choiseul to become a more vibrant, attractive and driven community, where our locals and foreign visitors actually want to escape to,” the Minister added, while highlighting that the hotel will feature Arts and Crafts from the community and incorporate the uniqueness of the Village into its plans.
Among the benefits of the hotel to the community is the creation of jobs, job training, improved standard of living, reduction in the poverty rate, increased economic activity, creation of new micro and small businesses, enhancement and conservation of the environment, revitalization of the local Arts and Craft sector and improvement in road infrastructure.
Chairman of Invest Saint Lucia Mr. Pinkley Francis noted that the project was a sign of increased investor confidence in Saint Lucia. He also identified the linkages that will be created.
“Our farmers have much to look forward to,” noted Francis. “With Choiseul’s enviable reputation as a sustainable farming community, the linkage between agriculture and tourism will be solidified once this project comes on stream. While this resort is valued at US $220 million, the value of the GP Group’s investment into the island is far greater. The fact that the internationally acclaimed Fairmont Hotels and Resorts have agreed to brand this new resort, is indeed a significant demonstration of investor confidence in Saint Lucia.”
Also speaking at the event was Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet who lamented that: “All too often the people from Choiseul have had to migrate all around the island to be able to get jobs.” The Prime Minister noted that the people of Choiseul had great work ethic and creative talents and that the developers were lucky to be in the constituency.
To the managers of Fairmont, Prime Minister Chastanet said: “There has been many an attempt for you to come to Saint Lucia and I am glad that it has finally come through. On behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia I want to say how grateful we are for the confidence you have in Saint Lucia and how much we look forward to working with you in promoting our destination.”
Minister with Responsibility for Tourism Honourable Dominic Fedee, the Chairman of the Choiseul Village Council Bryan Charles and representatives from Fairmont and the GP Group JSC chairman Georgi Vassilev also spoke at the event before the official sod turning.
Fairmont Saint Lucia at Sunset Bay will join Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic sister properties Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados, and Bermuda’s Fairmont Southampton and Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, A Fairmont Managed Hotel.