In addition to disbursing over EC$300,000.00 towards community based projects over the past six months, the Tourism Enhancement Fund made its biggest pay-out on Wednesday 6th August, 2014 with four organizations benefiting collectively from over EC$650,000.
These organizations include the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, the Ministry of Social Transformation, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Launched in October 2013, the Tourism Enhancement Fund has netted more than EC$1.35 million due to the coming together of several hotels.
The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), which manages the fund, has announced plans to aid product development, marketing and airlift across the local tourism sector. The TEF is the brainchild of SLHTA’s President Karolin Troubetzkoy.
“We’re very pleased and encouraged by the level of contribution we have seen thus far from our member hotels towards the Fund,” Troubetzkoy said, adding that the hotels interest charts a new direction for private and public sector collaboration within the tourism community.
Providing details on the supported projects Yola St. Jour – Manager for Finance and Administration at the SLHTA, said the Association support to the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School is for the completion of a fully functioning culinary lab. In the case of the Ministry of Social Transformation it is for the implementation of after school programs in two communities.
The Saint Lucia Tourist board has also received an US$192,000 commitment for a minimum revenue guarantee towards increased airlift out of the North American market, which is expected to stimulate growth out of that market. In the meantime, the Association’s Director for Large Hotels – Dominic Fedee, said “This significant start is a clear indication of the magnitude of the contribution that can be made when we pull our resources together.”