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(GIS) – The 2018 Saint Lucia Jazz component of the Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival officially opened on May 7, at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Spa and Beach Resort, showcasing local talent Barbara Cadet, and British saxophonist Denys Baptiste.
The 2018 Saint Lucia Jazz component of Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival runs from May 7 -13.
Tourism Minister Hon. Dominic Fedee, during a Cabinet press conference on Monday, said while the original Saint Lucia Jazz Festival had become a major cultural showpiece enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, the event had lost its original focus, attracting an increasingly huge budget from $3 million to $14 million in 2015.
“That only represented 40 percent of what we spent on tourism marketing that year but it did not generate 40 percent of the total visibility that we would have gotten,” Minister Fedee explained. “Therefore we had to make a decision. So we have saved some $10 million dollars and we are getting more visibility because the media coverage has enhanced. The other thing about the Soleil Festival is that the Jazz Festival served another purpose—to fill the hotels during the slow season, and so, with Soleil, we had to take a look at where we were and the monies we were spending to ensure that our people are excited about the festival, and are excited to partake.”
The new Saint Lucia Jazz brand, according to Minister Fedee, has realized savings of some $10 million dollars. However, he said organizers of the event will have to continue to be very strategic.
“When you look at the marketing budget of countries like the Bahamas and Jamaica, and you see they are able to sustain campaigns like NBC, CNN and Fox News, it tells you we are way underfunded if we are to compete successfully in the US major markets. So, we have to ensure we spend as much money as we can, that we spend it well, spend it strategically, and spend it in the areas where you get the best returns on investments. With the new adjustments, one of the things it allows is that we are finally spending money where it really matters.”
Saint Lucia Jazz will conclude on May 13th at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, with a special Mother’s Day feature.