Press Release:– The Government of Saint Lucia singed the Village Tourism Incorporated Grant Agreement along with the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF).
The Village Tourism initiative is in keeping with the Government of Saint Lucia’s plan to improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector, through deliberate planning and management of the provision of tourism services at the community level, to reduce sector leakages caused by a lack of local ownership.
The Grant Agreement was signed by Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Growth, Job Creation, External Affairs and the Public Service; Honorable Allen Chastanet and the Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund, Mr. Rodinald Soomer.
The signing ceremony was held on Thursday September 3, 2020 at the studio of the Government Information Services.
In 2016, the Government of Saint Lucia designed Village Tourism with the objective to diversify and enhance Saint Lucia’s community tourism product whilst simultaneously, broadening opportunities for private sector involvement to foster more balanced socio-economic development.
The initiative intends to foster enterprise development in villages, while offering unique community-based experiences to visitors.
This will result in increased local value, added visitor expenditure, increased rural employment opportunities, poverty reduction and overall betterment in the quality of life of Saint Lucians participating in the programme directly and indirectly.
The Village Tourism strategy specifically requires investment in quality community infrastructure and expansion of activities which will all drive tourism activity. Village Tourism will focus on homestays, small intimate and exotic hotels, restaurants, bars and shops; all of which will embrace the unique sociocultural and architectural attributes of the target locations.
Three communities have been identified to pilot the program due to their unique cultural, historical and geo-physical characteristics and strategic locations with visitor interest.
The communities are Anse La Raye, Gros Islet and Soufriere.
Their unique factors will afford each community to be separately themed and marketed, thereafter, expand its program to other communities.
The Grant Agreement was signed with the amount of US$935,663. The Grant will be utilized to undertake infrastructural development and upgrades in the three selected sites, as well as to develop human resource capacity.
Prior to this Grant, the CDF approved initial grant funding of US$120,000 in November 2017 for a Phase 1, which covered technical assistance to develop a roadmap and create an associated business plan to guide efforts at resource mobilization and implementation of