The Board of Directors of the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association has officially ratified Sanovnik Destang to take office immediately as the President of the Association. At the age of 35, Sanovnik is the youngest President in the SLHTA’s 53 year history. He will serve as President until 2017.
Destang, who is preceded by Immediate Past President Karolin Troubetzkoy, previously served as 1st Vice President to the SLHTA. In outlining his vision for the Association, he hopes that the SLHTA will remain a driving force for creating a Saint Lucia that is the best place in the world to live, to visit and to do business through the offering of a strong and diverse tourism product.
Sanovnik is the Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, an award-winning locally-owned hotel chain in Rodney Bay Village. Under Sanovnik’s leadership the group was able to return to profitability after a period of significant losses, using a combination of innovative online marketing methods combined with a focus on active yield management and product enhancements aimed at boosting average daily rates.
A Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) by profession, Sanovnik spent four years working with KPMG in Toronto in the fields of assurance and mergers and acquisitions advisory before returning to Saint Lucia in 2008. “During my tenure at the SLHTA, I hope to foster stronger linkages between tourism and the rest of the economy with special focus on the development of agro-tourism. There is also a critical need to embark on a tourism awareness campaign so that all Saint Lucians can have a better appreciation of tourism’s role in Saint Lucia’s development. We have seen the SLHTA grow and develop under the leadership of outgoing President Troubetzkoy and I hope to build on the programmes already ongoing while continuing to enhance, develop and innovate the way the SLHTA and, by extension, how Saint Lucia’s tourism sector does business and interacts with the broader economy and society at large,” said Destang.
Destang also serves as a Director on the Board of the St. Lucia Development Bank (SLDB). He sits on the Marketing Committee of the St Lucia Tourist Board and on the Investment Committee of the National Insurance Council. He is a Regional Vice President at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and also served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the newly launched Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
Through the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Destang hopes to build on the work the Fund has done over the last three years through programmes targeted at Human Resource Development and providing employment opportunities for young job seekers. It is Destang’s hope that these programmes, and the many more offered by the TEF, will not only develop our tourism product but also improve socio-economic conditions for some of the neediest Saint Lucian communities.
New appointments also ratified at Thursday’s meeting included Daniel Belizaire, CEO of DmB Holdings Limited, as 1st Vice President having previously served as 2nd Vice President. Erwin Louisy, Owner of Barefoot Holidays, who previously served as Director of Airlines, Destination Management Companies and Travel Consultants, was elected as 2nd Vice President to the Board of Directors of the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association.