Happy International Men’s Day from the SLHTA!

The Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) joins the rest of the world in observing International Men’s Day (IMD), a day set apart to celebrate the positive value men bring to the world, their families and communities. “It gives me great pleasure to wish all men a happy IMD on behalf of the Board, Management and Staff of the SLHTA,” says SLHTA President Paul Collymore. “The Association applauds all of the men in the hospitality and tourism industry for their dedicated service. Your contribution to the Destination’s success is invaluable and your tremendous impact can be felt in every aspect of operations.”

SLHTA President Paul Collymore (left) and SLHTA CEO Noorani Azeez.

SLHTA CEO Noorani Azeez noted: “Throughout the years, countless men have left their stamp on Saint Lucia’s tourism industry. Whilst all the trailblazers may be too numerous to mention, the likes of Edward ‘Chef Harry’ Joseph, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, Sanovnik Destang, Nick Troubetzkoy, Emmanuel Powlette and Lyton Lamontagne come to mind. Not forgetting the thousands of team members in various departments who are not in the spotlight but whose role is just as important.”

The CEO notes that this year’s theme ‘Helping Men and Boys’ should serve as a rallying call for us here in Saint Lucia, to place extra focus on men’s health and well-being. At the SLHTA, a number of recent initiatives have been aimed at Helping Men and Boys. It was just last October through the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), that a donation of EC $25,000 was made to the Lions Club of Gros Islet to support its prostate cancer awareness campaign. Through the timely donation, approximately 750 men learnt their status!

For the better part of the year, the Association as chair of the social action group Citizens for Peace and Prosperity, has been working tirelessly with other partners to empower communities along Chaussee Road by establishing community-based tourism businesses. The anti-crime initiative is a collaborative effort with various community leaders.

Azeez is especially proud of the ongoing TEF On-The-Job Training Programme. “I am pleased to indicate that males account for the majority of the participants! This is the first time since the programme’s introduction in 2014 that this has occurred,” he said. “I commend our men for stepping up to the plate and taking on this challenge to better their prospects by gaining experience in the industry. The rave reviews from participating properties is testament to their dedication and hard work.”

The SLHTA is also a proud sponsor of the IMD activity ‘My Brother, My Friend’, an ‘Inclusive Masculine Empowerment’ event, focused on bringing awareness to the need for men to build positive relationships with each other and strengthen existing friendships. The event’s objective is to debunk the negative perception of male bonding and to encourage men to strengthen their brotherly connection with each other.

The CEO has pledged the SLHTA’s commitment to introducing more programmes and interventions aimed at Helping Men and Boys in order to foster a better society. “As we celebrate another IMD, I encourage all men to continue playing their part in their homes and communities, and exhort us to be the best role models for our younger peers.”

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