The Week at the SLHTA, July 27th, 2012

Friday July 27, 2012
In This Edition
Hotel Development
Hiking Excursions
6 yrs Dayworkers
VAT Corner
Letter to UK Chancellor
CHTA Supports Letter
Outstanding Staff Profile
SLHTA Sub-Sector
Miss SLHTA 2012
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Hotel Developments

Coco Palm is currently upgrading the Ti Bananne Caribbean Bistro restaurant, now called KoKo Cabana, three conference rooms, the lobby with a new front desk and concierge desk.  The Luxe Swim Up and Suites will showcase upgraded amenities and features.

Top Ten On-Island Excursions

A pinch of sand, a large helping of sun, mixed with a dash of adventure makes the perfect recipe for an adrenaline filled vacation in Saint Lucia. Visitors looking for activities that are a little out of the ordinary can find endless opportunities both above and below the sea from zip-lining through the rainforest, snorkeling among the coral or bouncing around forest roads on an ATV.

“Saint Lucia fulfills the desires for active travelers seeking a variety of ways to stay vigorous and healthy while away,” said Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “The island’s rugged natural landscape, diverse eco-systems and crystal-blue waters offer a ‘must-do’ experience list of activities and excursions that will keep the heart pumping and body moving.”

For hikers, the Tet Paul Nature Trail boasts some of the most spectacular views in Saint Lucia including Jalousie Bay and the Pitons as well as stops at the Cassava House and Organic Farm. The 45 minute trek is rated easy to moderate and led by a well-trained guide. For more information visit theSoufriere Foundation Website or Tet Paul Nature Trail Website. Other hiking tour locations include Barre De L’isle, Des Cartiers Rainforest, Edmund Forest Reserve or Enbas Saut. For more information visit theRainforest section of the Activity Guideline on

Marigot Bay Celebrates!!

The Marina at Marigot Bay invited all 40 local persons who provide services to visiting superyachts to a meeting on Friday 20thJuly in the Marina Village at Marigot Bay.

Marina Manager, Bob Hathaway, took the opportunity to thank the 26 boat cleaners, varnishers, engineers and specialist workers for their contribution to the success of the marina since its opening in 2006 and echoed the feedback from the Captains of some 350 superyachts that consistently praise the quality of the daywork on their yachts. The Marina Manager congratulated the Marigot Bay Vendors & Water Taxi Association for their success in obtaining licenses for all Water Taxis operating in Marigot Bay.

The Dayworker Scheme was introduced in order to maximize the financial benefit of the presence of the marina to the Marigot Community. The scheme had been designed to favour persons from Marigot and surrounding communities and to ensure that available work was distributed as evenly and fairly as possible. The scheme was also designed to reduce harassment of yachts by competing vendors and thus improve security.

Featured Article

SLTB Canada hosted 2 fams this month, from 15th – 22nd July and 22nd – 29th July. The first fam featured 15 of our top sellers, primarily agency owners, managers and members of Ensemble and Virtuoso.

The second fam featured 13 WestJet/WestJet Vacations employees, including members of their national leisure and groups department call centres, and members of their English Caribbean product team. Fam guests  enjoyed a firsthand experience of what the island has to offer their clients, visiting several of the island’s resorts and attractions and taking in a bit of Saint Lucia Carnival. Pictured here is Regional Marketing Manager Alison Theodore with the first group  at Saint Lucia Carnival 2012.

Allowable Timeline to Register as a Taxpayer

You must apply for registration within ten (10) working days after the day on which you are required to be registered. You can obtain the Registration Form at the VAT Section located on Manoel Street, Castries or from the IRD in Castries, Vieux Fort or Soufriere. Forms can be downloaded

Letter to UK Chancellor on APD

Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Chairman Dr. Kenny Anthony has written to Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne on thedeleterious effect that United Kingdom Air Passenger Duty (APD) continues to have on the economies of the Caribbean.”


The APD, introduced in 1994, is a British Environmental Tax aimed at offsetting aviation’s carbon footprint. In its initial stage, it was set at £5 (US$7.85) per person. Since then there have been several increases.Essentially, the APD places countries in charging bands calculated on the distance of their capital cities from London.


The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has, moreover, revealed that new research shows that removing the APD would result in an additional 91,000 British jobs being created and £4.2 billion (US$6.5 billion) added to the British economy within a year.


Earlier this year, a number of leading international airlines, including British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic urged Osborne to suspend the planned APD increase pending the outcome of an independent study of the economic effects of such a tax rise. The airlines contended that the 8% increase introduced in April would reduce passenger numbers and hinder the UK’s economic recovery. They said that as a result of the increase, a family of four flying from the UK to the Caribbean would have to pay close to £400 (US$625.08) in taxes. In 2005 such a family would have paid a total of £80 (US$125.06) in taxes.


In his letter, Anthony reminded the British Chancellor that“Caribbean leaders have raised this matter on several occasions, and have discussed the negative impact it is having, with Prime Minister Cameron, with William Hague the Foreign Secretary when he was in Grenada earlier this year for the UK Caribbean Forum, and with other British Ministers and the UK Parliament”.


According to Dr. Anthony, “The Caribbean understands the fiscal challenge faced by the UK in respect of raising revenue, but we do not believe that APD should be imposed unfairly, or at the expense of the Caribbean economy and our community in the UK.” The Prime Minister further pointed out that, “The Caribbean is the most tourism dependent region of the world. The industry, as Prime Minister Cameron himself has acknowledged, is developmental and should be contributing to growth at a time of economic difficulty. Our data shows the negative effect that APD is having in this respect and hampers our ability to obtain the greatest benefit from our most valuable export industry. It also has a significant financial impact on the UK companies, large and small, with which we partner and for whom the Caribbean has been a major market. It is also hurting our sizeable Caribbean community living in the United Kingdom”.


Citing the case of Saint Lucia, Prime Minister Anthony explained that,“Visitor arrivals from the UK declined every year for the past three years. This decline in arrivals is exacerbated by a further reduction in on-island expenditure as the tax has had a negative impact on traveller’s budget, resulting in reduced economic benefit to the country. Indications are that tourism receipts associated with these declining numbers in the last three years have fallen on average more than 25% below the 2008 level”.

The St Lucia prime minister, who recently took over the chairmanship of the 15-member regional trade bloc, told the British Government Minister, that Caribbean Governments “remain committed to pursuing a positive dialogue with you and your government about alternative, revenue-neutral solutions that could address the discriminatory aspect of the current banding system by having the Caribbean and the USA placed in the same lower band”. He ended his letter by expressing the hope that this issue “can still be resolved amicably”.

CHTA Supports APD Letter

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) recently announced that it fully supports the recent actions of CARICOM Chairman Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony, prime minister of St. Lucia, who has written to British Chancellor of Exchequer, George Osborneabout the detrimental effects the United Kingdom’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) has on the entire Caribbean.

Richard J. Doumeng, president of CHTA, commented, “The CHTA welcomes the news that Prime Minister Anthony has written to the British Chancellor about the negative impact of APD on the Caribbean. The fact that the Prime Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Caribbean Community, has written to the UK government on this issue demonstrates the seriousness with which the Caribbean region takes this issue and the severe impact that the duty is having on the Caribbean.” Doumeng added, “APD is a significant threat to the sustainability and growth of Caribbean tourism. CHTA, along with its partners in the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), has consistently campaigned against APD on behalf of its members and all of those who depend on tourism. CHTA passed a resolution in January 2012 calling on Caribbean governments to engage with the UK treasury on this issue and we are delighted that this is now happening. We stand ready to provide support to Caribbean governments as they seek to have the Caribbean’s concerns addressed.”

According to reports by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the UK visitor market to the Caribbean in 2007 was at 1,373, 600 and in 2010 had declined to 1,103,400, a decrease of 270,200 visitors representing a major economic loss.

Since 2008, the Caribbean and its community in the UK have consistently sought to raise the issue of APD at all levels of the British government and with the UK Parliament making clear that the Caribbean requires parity in banding with the US and that APD is a political issue for the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora in the UK.

Outstanding Staff Profile –
Mrs. Den Charles

Sandals Resorts International pays tribute to its staff every year by hosting what is called “Sandals Prestige Awards”. This year was no different when a number of outstanding staff members were awarded for their dedication, commitment and hard work. This year, Mrs. Den Sosia Charles secured the award for “Team Member of the Year” which is the Ultimate Award at the establishment. Den describes her job as, planning and executing flawless, enjoyable and romantic wedding experiences for our Sandals couples. She says it is also her duty to make the bride happy by relieving her of all the small details and fulfilling her dream Wedding.

Mrs. Den Sosia Charles has been working with Sandals for the past fourteen (14) years. She spent six (6) years working with the Food and Beverage department as a restaurant server, and then moved over to the accounts department as a receiving clerk where she spent three (3) months. Since then she has been employed as a wedding consultant and she enjoys it very much.

The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association acknowledges and congratulates Mrs. Den Sosia Charles on acquiring the “Team Member of the Year Award” for Sandals Halcyon Beach. The SLHTA also encourages her to keep up the outstanding work that she started some fourteen years ago and to continue striving for excellence.

SLHTA Sub-Sector Meetings


The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) continues with the efforts to engage our members directly and give them opportunities to share their views, concerns and offer recommendations.  A series of meetings over the past week, channeling members of the various Sub Sectors of the Association was organized and spearheaded by the SLHTA Secretariat.
Below were the areas of focus and discussion.

1.       Compilation of VAT concerns for meeting with VAT Office

2.       Compilation of concerns about the Labour Code

3.       Discuss ideas for generating greater economic activity among this sub-sector and identify ways SLHTA can assist

The scheduled meetings which were all very productive, were held at the SLHTA Secretariat and chaired by the Sub Sector Board Representatives as well as Mr. Sanovnick Destang, Board Representative for Large Hotels and Mr. Daniel Belizaire, 2nd Vice President of the SLHTA.  Mr. Belizaire and Mr. Destang also sit on the SLHTA VAT Committee.

The outcome of these meetings were very fruitful, and gave the Association a better understanding of its members concerns in order to  ensure that they are accurately and effectively addressed.

Miss SLHTA 2012


The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) met with the contestants who will be representing their respective properties at the 21st Annual Miss SLHTA Pageant 2012. The meeting was accommodated by the Royal by Rex Resorts on Thursday July 26, 2012 at 2pm.

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss various activities and events leading up to the actual Miss SLHTA Show. Also discussed at the meeting were the rules and regulations for the contestants, as well as the guidelines, duties and responsibilities of the contestants’ chaperones. The Show will be held at the National Cultural Centre, Barnard Hill Castries on Saturday September 8th 2012 and will commence at 7pm.

The following are the contestants in this year’s Pageant:

  • Nadege Maximin        Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort
  • Gladys Noel                Sandals Resorts International
  • Merlika Modeste          Sea Spray Cruises
  • Emily Lewis                   Destination Management Companies
  • Tracy Nicholas             Jalousie Plantation

This year, the Association has guaranteed that the show will definitely be bigger and better and one to remember. One of the first events planned for the contestants is their photo shoot which will be done on one of the yachts from The Marina at Marigot Bay. The ladies will cruise the Caribbean Sea all the way down to Soufriere to capture some beautiful shots of themselves with the world renowned Pitons as the background.

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