On Tuesday 24th September, the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association’s Tourism Enhancement Fund hosted a corporate mixer at the inaugural Saint Lucia Air & Sea Ports Authority’s (SLASPA) Port Showcase. The event, hosted at the Harbor Club, was an ideal moment not only for the Association to show support to their corporate partner SLASPA but to provide their membership a befitting atmosphere to foster business and networking opportunities with related industry partners.

In her remarks to the gathering, Karolin Troubetzkoy, SLHTA President, disclosed that “creating opportunities for our members to meet in an informal atmosphere to connect and network was at the forefront of new activities we wanted to introduce at the SLHTA. We are therefore very pleased that our first social mixer took place and could not have hoped for a better partner to collaborate with than SLASPA”.

The Corporate Mixer also served as a moment of celebration for the Tourism Enhancement Fund as they announced the introduction of level of membership within the Fund, titled ‘Friends of TEF’, that will allow the Fund to allow donations, pledges and commitments for non-accommodation corporate partners.

Currently, the TEF is financed by a US$2 per night voluntary donation from guests at hotels across the island. The funds raised by these member hotels are channelled into community development and environmental projects which impact the livelihoods of current and future generations.

“Today marks a special milestone for us and we are pleased to share with you, another evolution of our TEF. While we have in the past received donations from partners such as Serenity Vacations and Sea Spray Cruises, we are delighted today to announce our first friends of the TEF,” pronounced John Mathurin, TEF Trustee and SLHTA First Vice President, “The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority has agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the TEF for an annual donation which will be matched by the TEF to undertake specific projects earmarked by the two partners. This agreement with SLASPA marks the first seed capital of this nature and we hope this will inspire other corporate partners to step forward and be counted as Friends of the TEF”.

The Fund established in 2013, has been able to execute over 250 projects that address issues surrounding climate change, community resilience, environmental preservation and economic livelihoods. With continued and growing support from partners like SLASPA, the fund has set its sights on a number of pertinent projects in the coming year including the Enterprise Development Fund, a loan guarantee facility which will enable qualifying small businesses to access the capital so SLHTA Tourism Enhancement Fund critical to enhancing their competitiveness and profitability and a National School Bursary Project that will provide scholarships for students in need.


With support from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Caribbean Hotel Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF), 180 Saint Lucian hospitality workers polished their skills in a series of guest service training sessions.

Dubbed ‘Heartfelt Guest Care to Welcome the World’, the training this month gave hospitality team members, supervisors, managers, and owners the knowledge and skills needed to best serve a new and diverse generation of customers. Launched by CHTAEF in partnership with Virgin Holidays, the program equips hospitality professionals across the Caribbean with guest care and diversity training to enable them to better understand and cope with the needs of the rapidly changing demographics of modern customers.

The training was created to demonstrate and enhance the benefits of diversity and inclusion within the tourism industry by generating in all 180 participants, from 14 hotels, an appreciation of the broad diversity of today’s travelers and how to warmly welcome them all. The St. Lucia series of workshops was sponsored by CHTAEF with additional support provided by the Saint Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund. The Fund provided an additional US$8,000 to deliver four more days of the workshops, ensuring many more SLHTA members could receive the training.

The sold-out workshops were held in both the north and south of the island from September 16 to 20, 2019 and concluded with a certificate ceremony for participants on Wednesday, September 25 at Bel Jou Hotel attended by Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee, representatives from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, the TEF, SLHTA, Virgin Holidays and CHTAEF.

CHTAEF Chairman, Karolin Troubetzkoy, was delighted with the program’s success and said the main value of the workshops was its recognition of the natural hospitality of Caribbean people and how it could be enhanced to recognize and serve the rapidly changing types of people making up the ranks of visitors to the region.

In his remarks to attendees, John Mathurin, TEF Trustee and SLHTA First Vice President, emphasized that “initiatives like these are central to the TEF’s continued mandate of ensuring the professional development of St. Lucia’s tourism industry workers, thus making this program an invaluable opportunity we feel fortunate to be able to have offered to our membership”.

Wheelchair Presentation Continues

The presentation of wheelchairs continued on 11th September 2019 at the Children Development and Guidance Centre (CDGC). This time in addition to a number of regular wheelchairs, 10 specially fitted tilting chairs with added braces were donated.
Ms. Donette Ismael, TEF Programme Manager and Lisle Chase, Matthew Render and Konrad Wagner from Rotary attended the function. This project would not have worked without SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund and its leadership, working with the Ministry of Health and Rotary on the project. Rotary said that they stand ready to repeat the exercise at any time.

SLHTA TEF takes Tourism Linkages success to other sectors

The SLHTA TEF convened a meeting under the Chairmanship of Sanovnik Destang, Immediate Past President of the SLHTA. Committee members on the newly constituted committee include Ike Lauff of Mystique Royal St. Lucia Resort, Jonathan Allain of the Ministry of Commerce, SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Programme Manager, Donette Ismael and Deputy Chair of the Linkages Committee, Noorani Azeez.

Key discussions focused on improving payments to farmers, consolidating transportation for small farmers interested in selling produce to the hotels, expansion of the committee to include manufacturers, expansion of the virtual agricultural clearing house, implications on a loan guarantee fund on the manufacturing sector and encouraging access to tourism markets by local furniture manufacturers. Exciting next steps also included the launch of the SLHTA / TEF’s Link Up programme which commences in October 2019 and allows small producers of fashion, arts, craft, agro processed items to share their offerings with visitors at hotels.

Linkages in Tourism Tradeshow (LITT) 2019

The SLHTA Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) hosted another successful Linkages in Tourism Trade show (LITT). The event which was held at the Finance Administrative Centre, Pointe Seraphine, Castries, which provided an avenue for participating companies to showcase a wide variety of locally made products and services.

The diversity in the display this year, kept to the SLHTA’s promise of expanding its linkages programme to include other sectors. The atmosphere at the event was a buzz of excitement as SLHTA members took in the showcase of locally grown mushrooms, local spirits, liquors, chocolates, sauces, crafts and the list go on.

“For me what sets this trade show apart from other trade shows I have participated in is how targeted it is. You get to interact with business persons within the hospitality sector,” said president of the St Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers, Robin Darrell. 

“Every year LITT continues to surpass the expectations of participants and this year was no different. From networking opportunities and developing business relationships with established companies in the tourism industry, participating companies will continue to derive benefits long after the event, said TEF Programme Manager, Donette Ismael.

She went on to explain that apart from the showcase, participants will be featured in the SLHTA / TEF newsletter and website, and participate in other similar events which will be hosted throughout the year, one of which will be “LINK UP”. The aim is to continue building on the successes that has been achieved so far by linking tourism with all the various sectors.

Businesses and individuals wishing to obtain information about the SLHTA Linkages in Tourism Programme can call the SLHTA Tourism Enhancement Fund at (758) 453-1811 or email

SLHTA TEF hits Green Gold with Helen’s Daughters!

Great meeting with Helen’s Daughters and Green Gold representatives Kiethlin Caroo and Aaron Afrifa to discuss collaboration with our Virtual Agricultural Clearing House (VACH). SLHTA stays the course to build stronger linkages between farmers and tourism. We are excited about the possibility of improved trade for our farmers with hotels via this partnership and the genesis of a Rural Women’s Academy.

The current food import bill of St. Lucia is valued at $350 million. Of this, it is estimated that $10-15 million dollars’ worth of this can be grown locally and bought by hotels at a lower price than when imported. Furthermore, with 1.1 million visitors to our shores in 2018 and one-third of all visitor expenditure spent on food, there is substantial market for locally grown crops.

The Green Gold team promises to leverage technology to fill in the gaps in the agricultural food tourism system to spur targeted agricultural supply by farmers using four components: Online Produce Marketplace, Farm Support, Distribution Centre and Delivery.

TEF Sponsors another Cycle of Maritime Training for Young Saint Lucians

The Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) continues to invest in the young people of Saint Lucia through the recent injection of EC$35,000.00 into maritime training. Each sailing course, which has been successfully run for a number of years, provides an intensive training course for 10 unemployed youth from across the island where they are engaged in an intensive sailing, soft skills training and personal development program. 

The Jus’ Sail youth sailing program continues to benefit from TEF financing due to the positive impact it has had on the lives of the young persons who have successfully completed the program over the last few years. The program has provided a number of employment opportunities for its graduates who have been able to succeed in the local maritime sector. The TEF’s commitment to this program is in keeping with one of the key mandates of the Fund which is human resource development. Supporting our youth and their development is one of the many positive outcomes of making a voluntary contribution or becoming a friend of the TEF.

Tourism Enhancement Fund Makes Good on its Commitment to Distribute 200 Wheelchairs Island Wide

The Tourism Enhancement Fund last year provided funding of EC$120,000.00 to the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia to facilitate the importation of wheelchairs to the island. This week marked an auspicious occasion as this venture between two private sector entities came to fruition, with the presentation of over 200 wheelchairs to be distributed island wide. 

The wheelchairs will create greater independence for persons with disabilities by improving their mobility and enhancing their overall quality of life.

This project would not have been possible without the support of the establishments participating in the Tourism Enhancement Fund and the voluntary contribution from guests of US$2 per room night to the fund. This voluntary contribution enables the TEF to support projects of this magnitude. If you are interested in being part of this exciting initiative please donate US$2 for each night of your stay at Resorts here in Saint Lucia or become a partner/friend of the TEF. For more information contact Ms. Donette Ismael TEF Programme Manager at 758-453-1811.

Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School Retains SLHTA Chefs in Schools Cook Off Championship Title 2019

Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary retains the SLHTA Chefs in Schools Championship title for yet another year. The Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Inc would like to congratulate the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School on winning the Chefs in Schools Cook Off 2019. In 2nd place was the St Joseph’s Convent team made up of Janaii Williams and Kurres Joseph, trained by Chef Nissa Paul of Windjammer landing Villa Beach Resort. And in 3rd Place was Merkijay Jean and Wavimey Prosper of the Leon Hess Secondary School and trained by Chef Billy Mauricette of Cap Maison.

The two students competing for Soufriere Comprehensive were Sherquean Franky and Kayla Joseph, both form 4 students. The team put on a great show in both the Signature Dish and Basket Rounds at the recently held competition on their home grounds at the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th June 2019.

The Soufriere team were trained and coached by Chef Ruben Kumar of Anse Chastanet Resort over the past 2 months in preparation for the competition. Kayla and Sherquean along with their Chef and teacher will travel to Barbados to represent Saint Lucia at the Regional Caribbean Junior Dueling Challenge come August this year. Their training will continue over the summer in preparation for the regional leg of the Culinary Competition.

The Competition was proudly sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund, Winfresh Limited, Diamonds International and TransCaribbean.

The Tourism Enhancement Fund Celebrates the Success of two aspiring Junior Chefs

Two young St. Lucians have won the 2018 Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge, one of the Caribbean’s biggest and most prestigious culinary competitions.

Karina Abraham and Cheyenne Hippolyte, students of the Soufriere Comprehensive Secondary School represented St. Lucia in the competition and delivered a spectacular performance that ultimately won the hearts of the judges and earned them high praise from the audience and other participants in the event.

Prior to their victory in Barbados, Karina and Cheyenne had been crowned champions in the final leg of the 2018 Chefs in Schools Competition sponsored by the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund, which was held June 15 at the Ciceron Secondary School. This qualified them to represent their country at the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge which was held August 14 – 19 at the Culinary Arena, Newton Industrial Estate Christ Church, Barbados.

The competition was the highlight of the Caribbean Junior Culinary Conference (CJCC), a seven-day event which also featured workshops and presentations on culinary techniques by respected industry professionals. Junior teams from seven Caribbean islands participated in this year’s competition, including the Cayman Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Dominica, Grenada, St. Croix, Barbados and St. Lucia.

St. Lucia’s dynamic duo came away with the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge trophy, thereby making them the overall winners of the competition. They also captured gold medals in the first two rounds, which required the teams to cook and present a national dish in the first round and a dish from a mystery basket in the second round.

After the first two rounds, three teams went on to compete in the finals, which included cooking a dish from another mystery basket. All dishes were judged on technical skills, presentation, taste and texture, cooking techniques and innovation.

The St. Lucian team’s winning dish in the final round was macaroni and corned beef wrapped in blanched cabbage leaf with fried potato, mango, carrot and corned puree, coupled with stewed chicken wings coated in chocolate biscuit and deep fried, plus grilled shrimp and pan-roasted pork with a drizzle of spicy sauce. The two victors were accompanied by their culinary arts teacher, Nashanka Henry and the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator, Wendel George during their stay in Barbados.

On their return to St. Lucia on Monday (August 20) Karina and Cheyenne received a heroine’s welcome from the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association. The SLHTA hosted a reception in their honour at the Bay Gardens Beach Resort where they were showered with accolades and commendations by representatives of the association and other industry stakeholders.

The reception turned out to be a joyous occasion for the two young culinary stars who both expressed their delight at winning the Junior Duelling Challenge, and the pride they felt at being able to represent St Lucia at the competition. They said they gave it their all and feel very satisfied with their performance and the results.

“The competition was very exciting and challenging but we overcame the pressure and we brought the gold home. We’re very proud,” said Karina. “We performed exceptionally well and we were consistent. We set standards for ourselves and we were able to rise to those standards in every round of the competition,” she added.

Tourism Enhancement Fund Projects Coordinator, Wendel George praised the two young chefs for their winning performance, and also lauded Anse Chastanet’s chef de cuisine, Frank Faucher  who served as their coach during the preparatory stages of both the SLHTA Chefs in Schools Completion and the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge.

“The team put on a really good fight and I was extremely impressed with the way they were able to compose themselves and present their dishes in the way they did, in that they were very consistent,” said Wendel. “As an association we’re very happy with their performance. We’re also delighted that so many companies and association members supported the initiative. Anse Chastanet, for example, has always been supporting the Chefs in Schools program from its inception. They have always provided a chef to coach the students, and they have always performed exceptionally at those events.” he added.

In addition to the St. Lucia team’s glorious win, the SLHTA has been invited to host the Caribbean Junior Duelling Challenge in 2019. Wendel says the association welcomes the opportunity to host the event and believes it will provide tremendous benefits to the local tourism and hospitality industry and St. Lucia as a whole.

“It is going to be very beneficial to the hoteliers, the local vendors and the St. Lucian people in general. We’re going to have teams from seven or eight islands coming to St. Lucia to participate in what has become a major culinary event in the Caribbean. A wide range of businesses, including local food and beverage suppliers, restaurants and shopping malls will benefit as a result of the competition being held in St. Lucia. We believe that this is the time for us to take this amazing competition to another level and really push the culinary arts in St Lucia. Public interest in culinary arts is really picking up, especially among the youths, and people are always looking forward to the competitions. More students are becoming aware of the culinary arts and increasingly they want to take it up academically and participate in the SLHTA Chefs in Schools program. This means that the SLHTA now has an even bigger responsibility to really push that agenda on the heels of all the awards that we’ve already won,” said Wendel.

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