Tourism: ‘We Want Jobs, But We Also Want Our Natural Environment’

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A significant player in the Eastern Caribbean tourism industry has underscored the need for respect, preservation, and enjoyment of the natural environment in developing the sector.

Sam Raphael is Developer and Managing Director of the 89-room Jungle Bay Resort and Spa in the Commonwealth of Dominica.

It’s a property that promotes wellness and ecotourism and which he described as being unique to the Caribbean brand.

Raphael explained that the traditional Caribbean brand is more geared towards the sun, sand, and sea and ‘whatever else goes with that’.

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‘The choice that a traditional developer from outside has given the Caribbean for decades is – you allow us to destroy your natural environment to bring ‘development and jobs to your people ‘ and as one of those people, I kind of look at it differently. We want jobs, but we also want our natural environment. We need it,” Raphael told the programme ECCB Connects.

“So we had to develop a tourism product in Dominica that dovetailed, that aligned with the preservation of the natural environment so that we can preserve the very thing that makes us unique. We can utilise it on a daily basis for people to enjoy, to see, to appreciate, and then it will be with us forever to provide a livelihood for our children in the future,” Raphael explained.

The Dominica businessman also spoke of the need for a solid commitment to the local community.

He indicated that while the details of the Dominica model are specific to that country, other destinations can tailor their unique features to differentiate themselves from each other.

According to Raphael, the Caribbean has a tremendous opportunity to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack.

He expressed that most people in the progressive world would gravitate towards an experience that would allow them to enjoy nature.

“We do believe there’s a bigger market for that, and that market is going to be growing as opposed to people who don’t really care about the natural environment, who just really want to lay out in the sun and drink rum punches or whatever,” Raphael asserted.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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