The Week at the SLHTA, December 20th, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012
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In This Issue
Piton Beer
Distillers Rum Tours
Sorrel Drink Recipe
Sweet Wine Fruit Cake
Certificate of Excellence
Discovery’s New Year’s
St. Lucia Largest Economy in the Eastern Caribbean
Season’s Greetings from SLHTA
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Foodie Culture All Year Round
Visitors can celebrate the foodie culture year-round through authentic local eats from locally grown crops such as bananas and chocolate to the award-winning rums and beers produced right in Saint Lucia. For a true Saint Lucian experience for novices and connoisseurs alike, consider these on-island delights:


Piton Beer:  This pilsner lager, named after the towering Pitons, is brewed with specially selected malt, hops, yeast and maize giving off a floral and hoppy aroma. Developed at the Windward & Leeward Brewery, Piton Beer is a favorite among locals and visitors to drink and sold at several locations throughout the Caribbean. Travelers can experience the brewing process for themselves on a scheduled tour.

Rum Tours:  Those looking to get into the “Spirit” of Saint Lucia can partake in one of the many on-IslandRum Tours that take place daily. Premium brands like the award-winning Chairman’s Reserve or Admiral Rodney can be sipped on the “Rhythm of Rum Tour” from the Saint Lucia Distillers or the “Rum Tasting and Distillery Tour” at Roseau Valley. A recommended cocktail is the Saint Lucia Rum Punch, a refreshing treat offresh lime juice, Rum, fresh Orange or Pineapple juice and a dash of Angostura Bitters.

Sorrel Drink


3 liters of water

8 ounces dried red Sorrel buds

2 cups Granulated Sugar

3 cinnamon sticks

12 whole cloves

4 ounces ginger, sliced thin

1 piece orange peel (fresh or dry)

Adult Mixture add…

1 cup Chairman’s Spice/ Crystal Lime



Step 1 – In a non-corrosive pot, allow water to boil for 10 minutes.

Step 2 – Add red sorrel buds, sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, ginger slices and orange peel and stir continuously while the mixture boils for another 10 minutes.

Step 3 – For Adult Version – add 1 cup Chairman’s Spice/ Crystal Lime.  Stir with non-alcoholic mixture and allow to cool.

Step 4 – Cool and cover the mixture of ingredients with plastic wrap and set aside to steep/ soak for 24hrs.

Step 5 – Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to separate the liquid drink from the ingredients. Discard the ingredients which remain.

Step 6 – Taste your drink for strength or sweetness. If it is too potent, add water or if too tart, add sugar, until drink is as desired.

Step 7 – Refrigerate your finished sorrel drink into sealed bottles for continuous drinking pleasure. Serve Chilled.

Sweet Wine Fruit Cake


1 lb Raisins

1 lb Prunes

1 lb Cherry

1 lb Black Currants

2 Bottles Port Wine/ Red Wine/ Sherry Wine

1 Bottle Crystal Rum

1 Bottle Sweet Red Wine

10 Eggs

1 lb Butter

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 lb Sugar

1 lb Flour

4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Powdered Nutmeg

2 Teaspoons Powdered Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Powdered Clove

1 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger

2 Teaspoons Angostura Bitters

6 Teaspoons Almond Extract

1 Cup Browning Sauce

2 Teaspoons Mixed Spice



Step 1 – Three months prior to preparation of the cake, mix all the fruits in the alcohol and allow to soak.

Step 1 – Days prior to preparation of the cake, boil all the fruits in with the alcohol for 45minutes and allow to soak for 24 or 48 hours.

Step 2 – Cream the sugar and butter together. Gradually add the eggs to the creamed mixture. Add the Angostura bitter and almond extract to the batter.

Step 3 – Combine the ingredients and spices with the flour and then add to the batter.

Step 4 – With a wooden spoon, fold the mixture together and then add browning sauce and continue mixing.

Step 5 – Grease and double line your baking trays/ cake pans. Pour your batter into the pan smoothly and cover with a foil paper

Step 6 – Place a shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven. This is to increase the moisture of the cake.

Step 7 – Bake your Caribbean Fruit Cake at 250°-300° for 2-3hrs.

Step 8 – Test with skewer after 2 hours for readiness of cake.

Step 9 – When cake is baked perfectly, prick the cake with a skewer numerous of times and pour sweet red wine all over the cake. Allow cake to soak up the wine.

Step 10 – Cut a slice and enjoy your moist Caribbean Fruit Cake.

Christmas Message from CTO Secretary General, 
Hugh Riley

The Caribbean tourism industry continued to show signs of recovery during 2012 fuelled by improvements in the United States and Canadian markets with 5.3% arrival increase by each.

But Secretary General of the Barbados-based Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Hugh Riley in a Christmas message warned that the region continued to face challenges in Europe, particularly the United Kingdom market from which the numbers have been falling. He said visitor spending has also been sluggish.

But Riley said that a factor which the region cannot ignore is the “unfair and discriminatory” Air Passenger Duty (APD) that is continuing to have a severe impact on the Caribbean tourism sector. Regional governments have been lobbying London to remove the tax, which they said negatively affects the growth of the tourism industry since the Caribbean has been placed in a band that makes travel to the region much more expensive than travelling from London to the United States.

“Much to the disappointment and frustration of the Caribbean, this crippling tax is due to rise even further in April 2013 while the discriminatory aspect of the distance ‘banding’ system remains. A family of four visiting the Caribbean and flying in economy will be expected to fork out 332 pounds sterling for APD – and double that amount for a few extra inches of leg room if they fly in any class above economy,” Riley said. Riley also noted that on the contrary, that same family would pay less APD to fly to US destinations that are far further away from London than any Caribbean country.

“This is an issue the CTO and its member countries and partners will continue to fight.” But he said despite the many challenges which the Caribbean faced, “we got through 2012 with our chins up and our resolve unfazed. “We at the CTO have been energized by our new vision “To position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year round, warm weather destination by 2017″ and the recently elected  CTO chairman, Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty has begun her two-year tenure with a pledge to refocus attention on urgent and essential areas including aviation”.

 “As we prepare to enter 2013, we look forward to working more closely with all of members and partners.  As the international agency that leads tourism development in the Caribbean, we know there are plenty of opportunities to improve the quality and the value of the services we provide. We take our responsibility seriously and will use every resource available to us to improve the quality of life of all Caribbean people through tourism.”

2012 Certificate of Excellence Award

TripAdvisor, one of the world’s largest travel sites, is proud to congratulate Discovery at Marigot Bay on earning the prestigious 2012 Certificate of Excellence award.  The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 % of accommodations listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

TripAdvisor recognizes Discovery at Marigot Bay’s 4 rating as an outstanding achievement. TripAdvisor has also instructed them “display their award proudly and in a place where your guests can see it, as only the very best in the business are awarded a Certificate of Excellence.”

“Discovery at Marigot Bay is very pleased to receive a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence,” said Pamela Robinson, Sales Manager, at Discovery at Marigot Bay. “We strive to offer our customers a memorable experience, and this accolade is evidence that our hard work is translating into positive traveler reviews on TripAdvisor.”

Special Room Rates are also available for Old Year’s Night Celebrations, please call Pamela Robinson or Any Reservation Agent for more details at 458-5300.
Discovery at Marigot Bay, now awarded with a Certificate of Excellence Award! 

“Fernweh” St. Lucia on German Air

Please find attached a very engaging video that demonstrates and highlights the effort the Saint Lucia Tourist Board at reaching the German audience. Even without understanding the narrative, you can follow the story line. The travel show reaches approximately one million people weekly.

The mono-thematic travel documentary “Fernweh” about Saint Lucia was aired on German television last week. The filming for this documentary started in November 2009 (1st part – aerials) and was concluded in January 2012. The 30 minute feature will also be repeated next Saturday, December 22. 2012.

Topics covered included: Hiking rainforest, Castries (also market), church service, Pigeon Island, Jump Up Gros Islet, Fond Latisab, Llewellyn Xavier, Hackshaw’s, Diving, Soufrière, Ziplining Babonneau, Diamond Falls, Sulphur Springs, Fond Doux, Anse Mamin (tour with Meno), Balenbouche, The South, many aerial shots.

To see the documentary, please click here 

Please note that it will be only available in this media center for one week.

Compliments of the Season,

John Emmanuel

St. Lucia Now Largest Economy in Eastern Caribbean states IMF

The St Lucia government has received a stamp of approval from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its implementation of the controversial new Value Added Tax (VAT) but this will not be enough to sustain the economic growth of the eastern Caribbean nation cautioned the Washington-based institute. Following a visit by an IMF staff team to St Lucia during November 27 to December 7 for its annual Article IV consultation with St Lucia public, private sector and trade union officials, a statement issued by the IMF on December 12 said that it welcomed the introduction of the VAT as this would modernize St Lucia’s tax system, broaden the tax base, and enhance revenue collection.

However, the IMF cautioned that the expected gain from the VAT could only be realized if all sectors contributed, and the base is shielded from the exemptions that have eroded the yield of other taxes. Even then, it said, a considerable further effort would be needed to strengthen the fiscal position and bring it on track to reach the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union-wide debt target of 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.

 “St. Lucia has weathered the difficult post-crisis environment well, becoming the largest economy in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). Rising external headwinds, however, have dampened economic activity, with growth estimated to slow to 0.2-0.4 percent in 2012, despite government efforts to revive the economy. Low growth and high unemployment are weighing on financial institutions’ credit quality and their balance sheets. Fiscal imbalances have also widened, reflecting past expansionary policies and the recent stimulus efforts to boost growth, and are expected to contribute to continued sizeable external current account deficits. Inflation is projected to edge up in the wake of the introduction of the value added tax (VAT) on October 1, 2012, but the effect will be temporary,” stated the IMF’s St Lucia mission chief Aliona Cebotari in the release. “Against this backdrop, the discussions with the authorities focused on achieving the appropriate balance between fostering growth and employment, while strengthening economic fundamentals through fiscal adjustment and addressing financial sector vulnerabilities,” she went on to add.

“With unemployment remaining very high, especially among the youth, growth and job creation are appropriately key priorities for the government. Addressing these challenges through fiscal policies is no longer an option because of lack of fiscal space. The mission welcomed efforts under way to improve the efficiency of the public service, streamline the regulatory environment for investments, and establish the institutional underpinnings of competitiveness reforms, in order to boost St. Lucia’s growth potential. Additional structural reforms will be needed to improve the business climate, adapt the education system to the needs of the economy, reduce trading and electricity costs, and eliminate price and non-price impediments to credit availability. Most importantly, restraining growth in public wages will be key to safeguarding the economy’s competitiveness and growth potential going forward,” cautioned Cebotari.

“Restoring the health of the financial system is necessary to support the growth and stability objectives of the government. The mission discussed with the authorities measures to decisively address identified weaknesses in the financial system and its regulatory and supervisory environment, including by working closely with the regional bank supervisor and making the nonbank supervisory body (Financial Sector Regulatory Authority) fully operational. Passing the revamped legislation regulating credit unions and insurance companies will also be important in this respect,” she advised.

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