Sanovnik Destang has announced that he will be stepping down as President of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) on Friday, when the organisation holds its 54th annual general meeting at the Harbour Club.
Destang, whose current term has ended, recalled in an interview with St Lucia Times Thursday, that he had indicated about six months ago that it was not his intention to seek re-election.
He revealed that although he received some nominations, he declined them all.
The Executive Director of the Bay Gardens Resorts explained that his reason for declining the nominations was personal.
But Destang said he enjoyed serving as president.
However stated that as a young parent with a young family, the presidency took a ‘toll.’
“I think that right now my number one job is as a parent and the secondary job is being Executive Director of Bay Gardens and being in charge of the hotel association comes after these things. I really want to ensure that I give focus where my focus needs to be.”
Destang declared that it would be better for someone else to take over the presidency while he takes a break and reprioritises.
He told St Lucia Times that he will still be on the SLHTA board and executive committee as immediate past president.
Of his two and a half year tenure in office, Destang expressed the view that a lot had been accomplished, but was quick to assert that he did not want to pretend to take the credit.
“But I look back on where we started and where we are now as a hotel association. We are a lot stronger – we saw unprecedented levels of interest in serving on the executive,” he observed.
“It is pretty interesting. We are actually going to have an actual election this time for the first time. Usually it is hard to get candidates,” the outgoing SLHTA President noted.
He said it was easy to get people nominated, but difficult for them to accept.
“We have seen the SLHTA cement its place as the premier private sector organization in Saint Lucia and one of the premier hotel and tourism associations in the entire region,” Destang said, adding that the SLHTA is one of the strongest bodies in terms of its level of advocacy and organization.
He paid tribute to his predecessor, Karolin Troubetzkoy, whom he said had left a ‘good base.’
“We did a lot of great things especially in the field of linkages and people development, which are two things I intend to continue to be affiliated with.”
Destang observed that two and a half years ago he had indicated that linkages would be his focus.
“There is no way that we can have a tourism sector being the mainstay of the economy and not having links to agriculture and not having links to manufacturing.”