This Week at the SLHTA, January 10th, 2014

Friday, January 10th, 2014
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In This Week’s Edition
SLHTA Visits Canaries Infant and Primary School
Fund Raising Concert Underway
2014 Caribbean Travel Marketplace All Set for Sunday
ARC enjoys 5 more Years of Smooth Sailing in Saint Lucia
Suriname Supports Saint Lucia’s Post Trough Victims

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 Rob Torres, Managing Director, Travel
“The travel path to purchase is increasingly social,” said Rob Torres, Google’s managing director of travel. “An active social media presence is important for all marketers but particularly for those in travel, as it allows brands to participate at moments of influence throughout the travel journey. Social media has a place whether your brand is trying to build awareness, influence consideration, drive sales or grow loyalty.”

Torres cited recent Google research that shows that the internet is the No. 1 source for planning travel and that nearly half (46%) of respondents use social media to share travel-related experiences (Google and Ipsos MediaCT Travel Study, June 2013).

“Social media is a tremendous outlet for brands to get real-time feedback and drive engagement at scale,” Torres said. “While hoteliers don’t have control over everything that’s said about their brand online, they can leverage social media to be discovered, create deeper relationships with new and existing guests, and measure the impact of their efforts.”

Torres’ recommendations:
  • Ensure that your brand is present across relevant channels.
  • Surface rich, relevant content on a regular basis. Think about what matters most to your guests and how you can extend your brand’s hospitality and personality to online channels.
  • Establish a consistent brand experience both online and offline.
  • Experiment with content and types of engagement and measure the impact when possible.
  • Align marketing efforts (SEM, email, social, offline, etc.) and take advantage of the unique capabilities of each platform.
To enhance the guest experience with social, advertisers have used Google+ Hangouts on Air to promote a concierge-like experience for travelers prior to arrival, he said. “This is just one feature of Google+, which helps brands establish a unified, consistent brand identity across the web. Today, Google+ content is amplified across the web-in Search, YouTube, and Gmail,” Torres told me.

Healthy Living Tips: Ginger

Ginger or ginger root is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family. Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal.


Benefits of Ginger


Haven’t been feeling hungry? Eat fresh ginger just before lunch to stoke a dull appetite and fire up the digestive juices.

Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrientsin the body.

Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.

Feeling airsick or nauseous? Chew on ginger, preferably tossed in a little honey.

Can’t stop the toot-a-thon? Gas-oops-guess what?! Ginger helps reduce flatulence!


SLHTA visits Canaries Infant & Primary School
Delegates from the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association and Sandals Resorts International visited the Canaries Infant and Primary School to assess damage caused by the Christmas Eve trough last year.


Public Relations Officer Dominic Fedee along with SLHTA EVP Mr. Noorani Azeez and Mr. Wendel George met with the Principal of the Canaries Infant School, Mrs. Simonia Jn Baptiste to tour the property and get a better view of the damage sustained.


The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) have made commitments to support the Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development and Labour to get the necessary school equipments and tools by the end of next week.

Help us pick up the SLAC
Fund Raising Concert 
In last week’s newsletter we asked you to “Save the Date” of Saturday February 1, 2014 for a benefit concert featuring St Lucia’s leading artists being organized to provide relief to those most severely affected by the floods this Christmas.  Here’s the update…


The St Lucia Aid Concert (SLAC) is a “GO” at Samaans Park and promises to be a banner day thanks to the generous support of various corporate sponsors, local and international government agencies and our nation’s world-class performing artists.  With your help, and the assistance of the Red Cross, it looks as though we have a real chance to truly, directly and promptly assist the victims of the recent floods who are still in need of essential items and services.


Due to overwhelming support and a rich local music scene, the event has been extended into a full day celebration of St Lucian resilience and culture that will start with an all ages segment in the early afternoon and will heat up at night as the earth cools.  As with the organization of the event and it’s production, all performances are being donated free of charge.  We are very pleased to report that, so far, all artists contacted have expressed their interest in contributing performances including:


Teddyson John
Ricky T
Barbara Cadet Quintet
Ronald “Boo” Hinkson
Herb Black
Richard Payne (Blue Mango)
Rob “Zii” Taylor
Ras Africa
St Lucia School of Music
Arthur & EvaLucian
Werner “Semi” Francis


We are still working hard on firming up the details quickly so that we can enlist your assistance in spreading the word.  Please stay tuned for further updates next week as to where you can get additional event details and direction as to how you can get involved and support the event.


In the meantime, if you have any questions or are able to assist in any way,please contact Chris Bak (284 6563, or the Red Cross  (452-5582,


We count on your support and thank you in advance. 

2014 Caribbean Travel Marketplace 
All Set for Sunday


Travel Agents will be on hand this Sunday as the Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the regions largest and most important marketing event, kicks off of at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Montego Bay, Jamaica.


It is expected to attract more than 1,200 delegates, which is on pace with last year’s event, according toCaribbean tourism representatives. The event will run through January 14.

In fact, the event has already attracted roughly 80 international buyer companies from 15 countries and more than 200 supplier companies from nearly 30 countries for a total of roughly 662 combined delegates pre-registered.


The trade show matches suppliers, such as hotels, restaurants and tourist boards, with buyers, tour operators and wholesalers in pre-scheduled business appointments, where parties discuss existing contracts and develop packages and contracts for future business.

5 More Years of Smooth Sailing for 
Saint Lucia and ARC 

The ink has begun to dry on an agreement that would see the world’s largest trans-Atlantic oceanic event – The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC), firmly anchored in Saint Lucian waters for the next five years.


On Thursday January 9, 2014 senior officials of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) and main organizer of the ARC, World Cruising Club (WCC), affixed their signatures to a new five-year contractual arrangement that will foster the further growth and development of the world-renowned iconic sailing event.


Fresh on the heels of a very successful 28th anniversary that saw a new record set for the fastest crossing time from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia, by the 8-member crew ofCaro in 2013, the sailing event has been ending on ‘Simply Beautiful’ Saint Lucia for the past 23 years.


Commenting on the contract signing an elated Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus said, “This 2014 – 2018 agreement with WCC will afford Saint Lucia more opportunities to display its legendary warmth, acclaimed hospitality, diverse accommodations and cultural attractions, to the thousands of mariners and their families expected to set foot on our shores throughout the life of this agreement.”


Last year Saint Lucia served as the finishing leg for the inaugural ARC Plus; a spinoff event designed to accommodate the large number of entries into the traditional ARC. ARC Plus saw over forty additional yachts setting sail from Las Palmas with a stopover in Cape Verde, before ending on Saint Lucia, two weeks before the ARC fleet arrived.


Expressing delight in the longstanding partnership between Saint Lucia and the ARC, Managing Director of World Cruising, Andrew Bishop said the ARC had become synonymous with Saint Lucia and had added its own intrinsic value to the brand recognition of the island for over two decades. “This partnership has been so perfected that it truly is mutually beneficial. As we at World Cruising seek to grow the event and further seek to immerse the ARC into Saint Lucian life, it’s heartening to know that as a finishing point for the race, Saint Lucia as a destination partner is committed to that journey,” said Bishop.


Tourism officials say the ARC compliments the overall tourism product, enabling Saint Lucia to offer a diversified calendar of events to a number of external niche market.


Over the years that the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers has been hosted on Saint Lucia, the island has welcomed over 5,000 yachts to its shores with over 25,000 visitors during that same time period.  Economically, the ARC contributes an average of $1.5 Million US dollars per year in terms of direct expenditure into the Saint Lucian economy.


The Government of the Republic of Suriname has responded to Saint Lucia’s call for assistance to deal with the effects of the Christmas Eve trough, which claimed six lives, left many homeless and damaged Infrastructure.


In a Diplomatic Note dated January 6, 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Suriname communicated that a monetary donation of XCD$500,000.00 will be made to Saint Lucia, by the Central Bank of Suriname. The funds will be made available through the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.


The Government of the Republic of Suriname also indicated that preparations are in place for the shipment of ten (10) 20Ft containers with water and other supplies for the affected communities.


The Republic of Suriname expressed regret over the devastation caused and lives lost as a result of the natural disaster.


The Government of Saint Lucia sincerely thanks all Governments and organizations who have made donations, monetary and otherwise and looks forward to the continued assistance of the International Community, as work continues to restore normalcy to the island.
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