A Tourism Linkage Trade show, annual general meeting and a panel discussion are among events planned to observe the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) 50th anniversary celebrations which begin next week.
Executive Vice President Noorani Azeez told a press conference that the SLHTA’s “Golden Jubilee Week of Activities” will be held under the theme “Together For a Better Saint Lucia.”
A Golden Jubilee Dinner will kick things off on Monday, June 16 at the William Jefferson Clinton Ballroom at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Beach Resort, where it is expected that a number of high-ranking policy makers, along with business personnel and members of the association will be present.
That event seeks to foster networking among policy makers and business owners “so that we can have a very confidential and candid chat about the state of affairs and what it’s gonna take to really get us our of the tail spin that we’ve found ourselves”.
Azeez said Didacus Jules, director-general of the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), is down to deliver a feature address at that gathering and will present perspectives on tourism and how partnerships within that field and others can better the socio-economic potential of the country.
This forum will be private and will also include open discussion as to the way forward for the industry. Azeez said the association recognises that is only through such deliberations that a concrete plan for the industry can be crafted.
In addition, attendees will also witness the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award and entertainment segments.
Moreover, the SLHTA’s anniversary calendar continues with its 50th AGM on June 18. This gathering will see over 200 tourism operators, top-level managers and government officials, along with other relevant personnel, gathered to be presented with the association’s 50th Anniversary Report.
This closed-door session will be one of several events planned for the day. It will involve the examining of the association’s financial statements and other related reports as presented by President Karolin Troubetzkoy.
Moreover, the association’s annual trade show, which Azeez said is becoming increasingly popular, will feature the work of over 45 tourism service providers. The hope is to get participants more acquainted with the products and services being offered in St. Lucia.
Among the businesses participating are Rainforest Hideaway, LeSport BodyHoliday, Sandals, Natural Soaps and Superior Fish and Seafood and more.
Following this, several panel discussions will be convened. These, according to the SLHTA, will feature various professionals who will look to encourage stakeholders to speak on the future of the industry on six different topics.
‘Attracting and maintaining a Productive Workforce’ and ‘Environmental Implications of Growing Tourism Industry’ are among these points down for discussion.
It is hoped that this discourse will spur a further sharing of ideas and provoke questions on various tourism-related topics.
Following these talks, attendees will have the opportunity to taste the culinary offerings of the St. Lucia National Culinary Team which will represent the island in the upcoming Taste of the Caribbean show in Miami on June 28-July 2.