Community Tourism Agency Signs Funding Agreement – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

by Virgil Leonty

A handful of local tourism projects will benefit from a financial agreement between the CARICOM Development Fund and Saint Lucia’s Community Tourism Agency.

The agreement will allow for the development of four tourism projects namely, the building of a shrine to honor the victims of the violent attack on the Castries Cathedral, the upgrade of the Morne Lay-by, the revitalization of the Denney Fish Fiesta, and a sea moss project in Praslin.

The four projects are part of a plan to revitalize community tourism.

The signing ceremony took place on March 6. The CARICOM Development Fund will provide $2.4 million while the Government of Saint Lucia will inject the sum of $385,000.

This latest agreement between the CDF and the Community Tourism Authority is the final component of a package of projects planned for Saint Lucia, worth a total of $8 million.

Chief Executive Officer at the CARICOM Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer, offered glowing praise for the concept of community tourism. He said CARICOM hopes to adopt the model for implementation in other parts of the region.

“We would like to replicate this as a model program across the region because of the way it integrates so many important elements of product and service development for tourism,” he said. “It focuses on bringing the benefits of tourism to communities, so that the multiply effects begin at the community levels rather than having the benefits trickle down to communities; and through product development, the program provides opportunities for the creation of new livelihoods and the enrichment of existing ones.”

Tourism Minister Hon. Ernest Hilaire thanked CARICOM for assisting Government’s plans to transform the industry. He stressed the need for Saint Lucians to participate at all levels of the tourism industry.

“We’re encouraged by the support of the CARICOM Development Fund. We didn’t get all that we asked for, but we will continue to pursue the projects that were not supported because we have the conviction that the ideas can work. Therefore, we’ve asked the government to provide assistance. During the upcoming Estimates, the prime minister will allocate for the financing of some of those projects,” he said.

The Community Tourism Agency has assisted several small property owners in various communities in Saint Lucia.

SOURCE: Government Information Service