Organisers of Sunday’s City Vibes, featuring entertainment and other activities to make Castries come alive for locals and cruise ship passengers, say the event was a success.
The activity was in line with the Ministry of Tourism’s mandate to improve the cruise product by providing cultural entertainment and a lively atmosphere for passengers.
At the same time, it provided opportunities for locals to display craft items and serve food to visitors who patronise the Castries Market food court.
Castries Mayor Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel told St Lucia Times that locals and visitors responded well to the event.
The Mayor recalled meeting a group of regular visitors from the Philippines who were excited as a result of experiencing City Vibes.
“We know that it can grow and it is something that has significant potential,” Lendor-Gabriel observed.
She explained that City Vibes would facilitate the ‘trickle down’ effect of tourism by ensuring that locals benefit from the industry.
At the same time, the Mayor pointed out that the event would ensure that the City comes alive and tourists leave feeling good.
She praised the Patricia James Secondary school students who performed on steel pans and noted that a band and karaoke also went well.
“Persons kept saying: ‘Please keep it going. Please don’t let it be a one-time-event,'” the Mayor told St Lucia Times.
In this regard, Lendor-Gabriel disclosed plans to ensure continuity.
“We are definitely looking to ensure that we continue to build on what we have,” she stated.
“We believe that we can continue to have it during the week,” Lendor-Gabriel said.
She observed that Constitution Park, where Sunday’s City Vibes was concentrated, is quite empty during the week.
“Over the next few days we will continue to experiment with it,” the Mayor told St Lucia Times.
“We would see more persons coming through once we have three or four cruise ships in the harbour,” she said.
But she said there was only one cruise vessel on Sunday.
However, the Mayor revealed that Saint Lucia expects three vessels during the week.
As a result, she said there would be efforts to create entertainment in Castries to attract visitors and encourage them to promote Saint Lucia.
Nevertheless, the Mayor asserted that the best tourism product involves locals interacting with visitors.
She explained that City Vives represents a ‘bottom up’ rather than a ‘top-down’ approach because vendors play an essential role.
The Mayor said the vendors were involved and were pleased with the activity.
She also said the locals who were part of the event were happy with the outcome.
Shame you always forget the South.
There is a marked difference in the tourism product in Castries. I have seen students playing music outside the Castries Market. On a couple occasions, I have also noticed a Creole band performing outside the market. Kudos to the person(s) who originated the idea.
In Soufriere, I have observed the beggars let loose on the tourists. Also observed, human derelict sleeping on the pavement at about 10:00am. When is someone going to grab hold of the beast that is Soufriere? This crap is not quaint.