The Week at the SLHTA, 22nd August 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014
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In This Edition
Bay Gardens Hotel and Inn Holds Thank You Cocktail for Business Clients
LUCELEC SPISE Scholarship Recipient Continues to Excel
Meeting of the NCPC
Olivier Bottois, A LEADER in Saint Lucia
Ladera from Mr. Bottois
Article Headline
SLTB & Travel Foundation

Bay Gardens Hotel and Inn Holds THANK YOU Cocktail for Business Clients

On Friday 8th, August the management team from Bay Gardens Hotel and Bay Gardens Inn hosted a ‘thank you’ cocktail and business mixer for its corporate clients. These clients have hosted conferences/ corporate events over the past years at the properties, which have long held a reputation as the conference/meeting location of choice for a number of local, regional and international organizations.


The event was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel’s Bougainvillea conference room with just over 80 persons from a number of local and regional businesses in attendance. The idea was to reward existing clients and provide an atmosphere that would allow for those clients to interact in a less formal setting with the possibility of making new connections and forging new business relationships.


Guests at the mixer enjoyed entertainment from the local band ‘Mamai Kweyol’ and a DJ. An assortment of delightful hors d’oeuvres was available for general enjoyment from the kitchen of Executive Chef Patricia Pascal. In addition to a heartfelt expression of appreciation from General Manager of the two hotels, Waltrude Patrick, a number of prizes were handed out on the evening.


Feedback from the attendees was proof that the event had realized its intended purpose. “Being able to spend time at this event afforded me the opportunity to network and make some really exciting connections and reconnections with other entrepreneurs and colleagues.” – Mrs. Nicole Joseph Chin, CEO Ms. Brafit Limited, Trinidad & Tobago.


Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, Sanovnik Destang commented on the event. “The plan moving forward is to make this event a permanent fixture on our calendar of events. In addition the Bay Gardens Beach Resort will also be hosting a similar business mixer in the near future for its business clientele.”

LUCELEC SPISE Scholarship Recipient Continues to Excel

Gaius Hendrickson St Marie, the sixteen year old who was awarded a scholarship from the Saint Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) to attend the prestigious SPISE Programme in Barbados has returned home with two awards.


St Marie was judged the “Most Outstanding” and recognized with the “John and Dorothy Herzog Award” for which he received the autobiography “Steve Jobs” by William Isaacson. In addition he was also awarded the “Most Improved Student in Electronics”.


The annual SPISE Programme in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is offered to the most-gifted Caribbean students. St Marie was the youngest of twenty-two (22) students who attended SPISE 2014.

Of the four week long course, St Marie says, “It was an awesome experience, getting to work with so many brilliant minds from the Caribbean.”


In addition to being taughtuniversity-level courses in calculus, physics, biochemistry, entrepreneurship, Caribbean Unity and Mandarin, St Marie also completed hands on projects in under-water robotics, renewable energy and electronics.


SPISE students also participated in a career seminar series where they heard first-hand about the career paths, decisions and experiences of six eminent professionals in science and engineering from the Diaspora and the Region.


St Marie returned home to good news about the record seventeen (17) CXC subjects he wrote at the end of his time at Saint Mary’s College. For these efforts, he received fourteen (14) Grade One passes which includes ten (10) distinctions and three Grade Two passes.

Meeting of the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council

On Thursday 21st August 2014, the NCPC held a meeting of its Board of Directors to discuss issues regarding Productivity Week celebrations to be held in October 2014, receive updates on the operationalization of the Commercial Court, outcomes of the Productivity Study recently conducted and to continue discussions on strengthening productivity in the public and private sectors.  The meeting was attended by the SLHTA EVP who was appointed Tourism Advisor to the Council last year.  For more details and information on the work of the NCPC.

Saint Lucia Tourist Board Announces Q2 Piton Award Winners

For more information on PASS and the Piton Awards, travel agents can contact a North America-based Saint Lucia representative:


Mid Atlantic

Hortensia Joseph

Phone: 908-486-2559



North East/West Coast

Lorine Charles-St. Jules

Phone: 908-686-4164




Alison Theodore

Phone: 800-869-0377



Mid West

Ingrid Stewart

Phone: 708-922-0369



South East/South West

Kelly Fontenelle- Clarke

Phone: 678-377-0170


2014 Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge Competition

Two students from the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School will be representing Saint Lucia in the Caribbean Junior Dueling Competition to be held in Barbados.  Jana James and Yohance Cazaubon travelled to Barbados on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 to compete against six (6) other Caribbean islands. The two students were the winners of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association’s Chef in Schools Cook-Off Competition which was held at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium on February 22nd 2014 (Independence Day).

The students will be accompanied by their coach Chef Hornan Refer Leonce of Cap Maison, who also represented Saint Lucia in June at the Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Competition in Miami, their Food and Nutrition teacher Ms. Macrina Joseph and Project Assistant of SLHTA Wendel George. The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association is the main sponsor for the 2014 Junior Culinary Team for this year’s Caribbean Junior Dueling Competition.

The Caribbean Junior Culinary Conference 2014 will take place from August 21 to 24 at the Culinary Arena in Barbados. The CJCC will feature Workshops and Presentations by industry professionals and stakeholders, as well as Culinary Demonstrations by renowned regional and international Chefs from the United States Virgin Islands and Lincoln Culinary Institute.

The highlight of the Conference will be Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge competition (CJDC), which is now in its sixth (6th) year. To be eligible for the competition, each team must be comprised of two (2) competitors who are between the ages of 13 and 20 years old. Teams will compete in a National Dish Round and a Mystery Basket Round; the scores from these two rounds will be totaled and the three highest scoring teams will advance to the finals.

Saint Lucia is the defending champions and has won the past two consecutive years


Mr. Olivier Bottois, A LEADER in Saint Lucia

LEADERS Magazine, a publication which is circulated to “distinguished leaders of the world,” has featured in their latest issue Mr. Olivier Bottois, Vice President of Operations at the renowned Ladera resort in Soufriere, Saint Lucia. LEADERS magazine highlights Bottois’ career as a third-generation hotelier, an expert in luxury including time at some of the most iconic hotels including Hotel George V in Paris, The Connaught in London and The Élysée Palace in Paris as President Mitterrand’s private Maître d. Bottois joined Ladera in 2011.

The article continues, “He, [Bottois] is a strong advocate of “consistency and continuity,” and promoted Saint Lucians from within to continue creating jobs. Bottois: “It is important to support the local economy and create job opportunities for the new generation.”” Ladera is now positioned as one of the top experiential properties in the world and the only Caribbean resort ever rated number one by Conde Nast Traveler’s Best of the Best. It is the only Caribbean resort invited to the exclusive “Pure” experiential travel event in Marrakech for the second year.

LEADERS is the only worldwide magazine that deals with the broad range of leadership thoughts and visions of the world’s most influential people. It is a quarterly forum for those select individuals who, by their position of leadership, exercise inherent influence and commanding authority over the allocation of the world’s human and material resources.

Olivier Bottois’ interview can be found on page 101 Volume 37 Number 3 or online at select Editor’s Choices. However, a copy of the article has been attached to this emailed release.

Ladera from Mr. Olivier Bottois

Property Briefing

Ladera ( is the only resort in Saint Lucia set in between the Pitons, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exclusive eco-luxe resort is on a forested ridge 1,100 feet above the Caribbean Sea, perched on top of the Soufriere volcano. Ladera is the only hotel in the Caribbean ever rated number one in the world according to Conde Nast Traveler’s Best of the Best List. Over two decades ago, Ladera pioneered the concept of the open-air, three-walled guest suite that remains its signature design. The only authentic luxury Saint Lucia resort, Ladera prides itself on its handcrafted furniture made by local artisans and fresh local Caribbean cuisine.

What makes Ladera so unique?

The authenticity, sense of place, and genuine and friendly staff are what make Ladera so unique. Everything is handcrafted. We have a wellestablished property with an amazing openair concept – the fourth wall is missing in the rooms. We are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Pitons, on top of the crater of a volcano. It’s all about adventure and experiential travel.

Ladera had been the only luxury property in Saint Lucia for the longest time until five new highend hotels opened on the island in 2008, which impacted the market signifi cantly. As a result, it was important to defi ne a marketing strategy to differentiate Ladera in this new market. This has been my role since I joined the resort in 2011.

Where does the property stand today?

Ladera is now positioned as one of the top experiential properties in the world and we are proud to be the only hotel in the Caribbean invited to the exclusive “Pure” experiential travel event in Marrakech for the second year. We are consistently on the top lists of hotels and resorts in the world. To date, we are the only Caribbean resort ever rated number one by Conde Nast Traveler’s Best of the Best List.

It’s now a couples only resort, so no children. It’s all about romance. I tried to determine what would work longterm, because I believe in consistency and continuity.

I thought we should promote Saint Lucians from within to continue creating jobs on the island. I believe in hiring local talent and promoting from within given the opportunity. It is important to support the local economy and create job opportunities for the new generation on the island.

Is there a similar feel throughout the suites and villas?

It’s all traditional Saint Lucian ambiance – everything is locally made tile and wood. All of the employees are Saint Lucians – there are 140 employees and I’m the only one who is not Saint Lucian. This can be a challenge and also an opportunity because you are dealing with a different culture – and Ladera itself has its own spirit, because 80 percent of the employees have been there for 15 to 20 years. It is rewarding to inspire, nurture, and mentor great people.

A real success story was to promote our long term Chef de Cuisine, Nigel Mitchel, to the position of Executive Chef instead of relocating an expatriot, which most hotels do in the Caribbean. I am proud to have taken him to international food destinations such as New York, where he had the opportunity to experience various culinary institutions.

Everything we do is local – all of our vendors are from the local community. We use area farmers and fi shermen to supply our awardwinning restaurant, Dasheene. Also, by hiring only locals, we keep the talent on the island.

What is the restaurant’s focus?

We focus on fresh local cuisine, and our Dasheene restaurant has been in operation for 30 years. The team in the kitchen has all been there for at least 10 years. We used to bring in chefs from England and the U.S. who would stay a few years, then leave. In reality, the chefs we bring in from outside don’t know anything about local products and they don’t know how to use these products as well as my local team. This is why I promoted our local chef and now I only have Saint Lucians in the kitchen.

We have a very talented culinary team that is invested in constantly evolving Dasheene. We support their travel overseas to gain exposure to the world’s best restaurants. They have done a great job adapting the best of these experiences to our local Caribbean cuisine. People come to Ladera to experience Saint Lucia, so that’s what we give them.

Meeting of Hidden Gems of Saint Lucia

Small hotels members of the SLHTA have branded themselves as the Hidden Gems of Saint Lucia and convened a first meeting of the group this Wednesday 20th August 2014 at the Fox Grove Inn.  The meeting was attended by Alize Inn, Palm Haven Hotel, La Haut Plantation, QR Quality Rooms, Fox Grove Inn, Zamaca, Habitat Terrace Hotel and The Reef Kite and Surf.

Discussions focused on a review of the group’s presence at the recently concluded North American Showcase, ideas for boosting the visibility of the new brand, training programs of the SLHTA, review of a proposal and to brainstorm ideas on the way forward for the group.  The discussions were Chaired by Ms. Cheryl Skeete, Representative on the SLHTA Board of Directors for Small Properties.   The meeting was attended by SLHTA’s Executive Vice President, Noorani Azeez who offered encouragement to the group to continue engaging the SLHTA Secretariat on issues affecting their operations and to take advantage of the many areas of support currently being offered by the SLHTA.  The members also expressed a keen willingness to support the Tourism Enhancement Fund.


The following properties are members of the Hidden Gems of Saint Lucia:

Palm Haven Hotel

Habitat Terrace Hotel

Alize Inn

Poinsettia Villa Apartments

Marigot Beach Club

La Haut Resort

Hummingbird Beach Resort

Leisure Inn

The Downtown Hotel

Fox Grove Inn

Charlery’s Inn

Zamaca Bed and Breakfast

QR Quality Rooms

The Reef Kite & Surf

Saint Lucia Tourist Board Announces Q2 Piton Award Winners

The Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) today announced its second quarter North American Saint Lucia Piton Award winners. Canadian winners in April, May, and June include Alice Budd of DiNamic Travel, Lois Barbour of Travel Time TPI, and Annette Hines of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, respectively. Linda Harger of Sunbeam Travel served as the U.S. winner in both April and May.

The awards recognize top booking travel agents and agencies as part of the Preferred Agent Saint Lucia Specialist (PASS) education and training program;agents who are members of PASS receive $500 for themselves and for their agency. The top ten agents per region who record the highest bookings will win a weekend for two in Saint Lucia to attend the Grand Piton Awards Ceremony, taking place in March 2015.

“Saint Lucia’s natural beauty and lush landscape practically sell itself,” said Alice Budd of Ontario-based DiNamic Travel. “The resources available through the Preferred Agent Saint Lucia Specialist program have played a significantrole in delivering exceptional client experiences.”

“From a drive-in volcano to sparkling waterfalls, Saint Lucia’s varied landscape delivers much more variety than most Caribbean destinations,” explains Linda Harger of Pennsylvania-based Sunbeam Travel. “The island’s culture and traditions, cuisine, and majestic scenery create a lasting impression.”

“The Piton Award recipients represent an elite category of travel partners,” said Tracey Warner Arnold, deputy director of tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “These individuals have produced the highest number of Canadian and U.S. bookings; the Tourist Board is pleased to honor their contributions to Saint Lucia’s travel industry.”

To be eligible agents must complete the Saint Lucia Specialist Course, attend a Saint Lucia presentation at least once per year, visit the island (on an SLTB coordinated familiarization tour or individual trip) and regularly update bookings online.

The PASS program offers several benefits including:

·         Personalized PASS marketing tools

·         Complimentary and discounted FAMs

·         Listing on SLTB website

·    Access to thousands of travelers from the SLTB via live chats

·         Complimentary site inspections

·         Featured spots within the SLTB monthly e-newsletter

·         A chance to win an all expense, all-inclusive trip for two

SLTB & the Travel Foundation Team Up to Enhance the Marketing of Local Excursions to UK Operators

A collaborative effort between the Saint Lucia Tourist Board and the UK-based Travel Foundation has landed one innovative local tour operator a trip to Europe and an opportunity to be featured at the upcoming Saint Lucia Showcase-London. Scheduled for September 11 & 12, Saint Lucia Showcase-London will be attended by over 60 UK tour operators and 40 hotels and Destination Management Companies.

A participant in the Dragon’s Den-style competition held here in July under the watchful eye of Travel Foundation’s Industry Programmes Manager Julie Middleton, Tourism Development Officer Diana St. Helen of the Dennery Mabouya Valley Development Foundation’s ‘Leve Project,’ emerged winner from a host of competitors who participated in a pilot project designed to better equip excursion providers with the wherewithal to make them more competent in selling to UK tour operators.

The newly developed training manual “How to Sell Excursions to UK Tour Operators,” is aimed athelping small and medium sector organizations understand health and safety issues, plus how to market their services to UK tour operators.

A panel of experts from the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Virgin Holidays, the UK’s Travel Trade Gazette and the Travel Foundation selected the project which best encapsulated the recommendations stated in the proposed manual, and positioned its services to target UK tour operators. Based on the success of the pilot scheme, the Travel Foundation intends to roll it out globally with Saint Lucia as the case study.  That case studywill also use examples from all of the short listed local companies detailing how Saint Lucia excursion providers have worked with the proposed manual to improve their businesses.

Diana St. Helen’s prize includes economy flights and accommodation in London.

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