SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Gifts Members Food Vouchers For Festive Season

(CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Tuesday, December 22, 2020) – The SLHTA Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is spreading the Christmas cheer in a big way this season by rewarding its members with much-needed assistance.

Four hundred displaced employees who were severely impacted by the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will be gifted food vouchers by the TEF. These employees will hale from the non-accommodation enterprises which are still experiencing look warm economic activity.

The generous gesture will cost the TEF approximately $80,000. However, the TEF believes that those who are the driving force of the tourism and hospitality sector deserve every assistance at this crucial juncture.

Within weeks of a partial shutdown in March this year following the COVID-19 outbreak, more than 15,000 employees within the local tourism and hospitality sector were laid off after the partial or total closure of many businesses. Some employees were forced to opt for either rotation or reduced pay. Despite a relaxing of the national shutdown since June and some employees returning to work, many are still off the job and without an income.  

On December 3, the TEF made a whopping $150,000. contribution to the Recover Saint Lucia initiative aimed at resuscitating the local economy. During that handover ceremony held at Bay Gardens Hotel, Chairman of the TEF, Winston Anderson, said any effort to resuscitate the local economy deserves every bit of support. He added that the tourism and hospitality sector bears a key responsibility for facilitating such an overall recovery.

“Tourism is a very key player in the recovery of the economy and has been badly affected,” he said. “We all know that this industry impacts the lives of so many sectors and the livelihoods of thousands of Saint Lucians, many of whom are yet to restart.”

SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund Donates $150,000 To ‘Recover Saint Lucia’ Initiative

(CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Monday, December 7, 2020) – The SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) signaled its strong support of the recently-launched Recover Saint Lucia initiative by donating $150,000 towards the new organization’s efforts.

A check handover ceremony was held on Thursday, December 3, in the Bay Gardens Hotel Conference Room and was attended by members of the Steering Committee for Recover Saint Lucia, the media and other partners of Recover Saint Lucia.

Chairman of the TEF, Winston Anderson, said any effort to resuscitate the local economy is deserving of support, noting that the tourism sector has a responsibility for and stands to gain from such a recovery.

“Tourism is a very keen player in the recovery of the economy and has been badly affected,” Anderson said. “We all know that this industry impacts the lives of so many sectors and the livelihoods of thousands of Saint Lucians, most of whom are yet to restart.”

Anderson said that during recent TEF meeting, the trustees voted unanimously to support the Recover Saint Lucia initiative. Although Recovery Saint Lucia’s mission far exceeds last Thursday’s donation, Anderson said every bit helps, urging others in the private sector to join the cause.

Head of Recover Saint Lucia’s Resource Mobilization Committee, Sanovnik Destang, said over $400,000 worth of projects have already been identified by his committee since the official launch on November 20, 2020. Nevertheless, he remains optimistic that these goals are reachable.

Private sector agencies and business leaders launched the special national initiative aimed at speeding up the recovery of Saint Lucia’s ailing economy by rallying the support of the government and citizens in applying innovative and adaptive responses to overcome the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

Spearheading these efforts are the new organization’s key members: Karen Peter (Chairperson), Dr. Stephen King (Health & Best Practice), Goretti Paul (Economic Opportunity), Noorani Azeez (Food Security), Sanovnik Destang (Resource Mobilization), and Adrian Augier (Communications).

“I would like to thank all those businesses who jumped on board without batting an eye,” said Recover Saint Lucia’s Chairperson, Karen Peter. “They jumped on board without even thinking, case in point, the Tourism Enhancement Fund. I believe that the minute we launched that initiative,

within two days I got a call from Noorani Azeez (SLHTA’s Chief Executive Officer) that the Tourism Enhancement Fund was willing to put in a seed donation.”

Jamecob’s Quality Construction Ltd. also handed over a check for $5,000 to Recover Saint Lucia’s efforts at last Thursday’s ceremony.

SLHTA’s TEF Sponsors Goodwill Ambassador Levern Spencer’s Tokyo Olympics Journey

SLHTA’s Goodwill Ambassador and 2016 Olympic Games finalist, Levern Spencer, is keen on competing in the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Games, which were scheduled for 2020, were postponed amid public health safety concerns. 

In her quest to represent Saint Lucia at the Games, Spencer will need a considerable amount of sponsorship to offset her expenses related to preparation and participation in the world-class event. The world-ranked high jumper reached out to the SLHTA and, based on the existing relationship the Association shares with Spencer, her request for financial assistance was granted unanimously by the Trustees of the SLHTA’s Tourism Enhancement Fund

The SLHTA believes that Spencer’s representation at the international level not only showcases the island as a sporting destination, but also a tourism destination worthy of visiting. That was the underlying reason why Spencer was honoured as a Goodwill Ambassador at the SLHTA’s Annual General Meeting in August 2019.

In October 2019, fresh from her Pan American Games where she won a gold medal in high jump, Spencer returned home to a hero’s welcome at the VIP Lounge at the Hewanorra International Airport. The event was organized by the SLHTA.

The SLHTA will continue to support Spencer, who has been voted Sportswoman of the Year multiple times in Saint Lucia, because she sets a positive example to especially our youth, many of whom have taken up sports based on her inspiration.

TEF’s “Eat What We Grow” Campaign Promotes Local Consumption

The “Eat What We Grow” campaign, which was started by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), stemmed from the Virtual Agricultural Clearing House (VACH), a programme established by the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA) in April 2016.

As organizations representing various entities in the local tourism sector, the SLHTA and TEF place a great deal of importance on strengthening the existing linkages between agriculture and tourism. So strong are these linkages that hundreds of farmers depend on the hospitality sector which purchases a fair share of their produce.

Since 2016, the SLHTA has made a significant impact in bridging the growing divide between tourism and agriculture. The WhatsApp platform on which the VACH operates provides an avenue for hundreds of farmers to upload information on agricultural produce available for sale and allows nearly two dozen hotels and two large food and beverage companies to upload demand information.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the SLHTA and TEF felt that, especially during these trying times, people needed to eat healthy and nutritious foods, primarily agricultural produce grown locally. Therefore, the “Eat What We Grow” campaign was a timely initiative.

The “Eat What We Grow” campaign was launched in July 2020 at the SLHTA Secretariat in Rodney Heights. Among those in attendance were acclaimed musician and Goodwill Ambassador Ronald “Boo” Hinkson, local farmer Moses Renee, and SLHTA’s Chief Executive Officer Noorani Azeez, all of whom spoke to the need for healthy eating and supporting the local economy.

Hinkson also created a jingle for the “Eat What We Grow” campaign, and media house All Biz, which did a video for the jingle showcasing farms and local chefs.

Subsequently, when the “Recover Saint Lucia” initiative was launched and Azeez was chosen to spearhead the Food and Safety Committee, the “Eat What We Grow” campaign video was edited to include “Recover Saint Lucia” as a key partner, especially since both initiatives dovetailed in many ways.

The “Eat What We Grow” campaign also aims to create awareness about the wholesomeness of locally-produced foods and the need to support our local farmers, chefs and others whose livelihoods depend on the agricultural sector. Another aim of the campaign was the importance of starting small kitchen gardens to reduce on the food bill. 

TEF Sponsors Meals For Front-liners During Transition To OKEU Hospital

In March 2020, there was a request from the administration of Victoria Hospital to the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) for the provision of meals for frontline staff during their period of transition to the Owen King EU Hospital.

The transition to Owen King EU Hospital became necessary as local officials anticipated that the dreaded COVID-19 would become a major issue for front-liners. The transition also paved the way for Victoria Hospital to become the new Respiratory Clinic.

The TEF honoured the request, sourced a local catering company, and paid for the provision of meals for the hospital staff during the transition period. The gesture seemed a natural one, as our healthcare workers are among the first line of defense in fighting the pandemic.

The hospital’s administrators were gracious for the TEF’s generosity, especially during a period when they had little time to adjust not only to the big move, but also to the protocols adopted to fight the invisible and destructive threat called COVID-19.

Soon after that, the TEF joined forces with the National Meals Programme (NMP) to prepare and deliver thousands of meals prepared by chefs from various hotels across the island to under-privileged people whose hardship was worsened by the negative socio-economic impact of COVID-19. 

TEF Gives EC$8,000 To Provide Hand Sanitizer For Schools

In March 2020, soon after the outbreak of COVID-19, Dr. Tanya Beaubrun, who was assisting the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health in their preparatory response to the pandemic, reached out to the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and indicated what the Ministries’ intention was in curbing the spread of the virus.

Through a collaboration with Natmed Ltd., a local company that manufacturers all-natural health and beauty products, there was a drive to donate hand sanitizers to schools across the island. Many private sector organizations joined the initiative that aimed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus within the school setting, including the SLHTA’s TEF.

During a check presentation ceremony held at Bay Gardens Hotel, the TEF, which donated EC$8,000 to the Ministry’s initiative, was among several partners who lent financial support to deliver hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer to schools.

Aside from washing hands with water and soap regularly, wearing a face mask and keeping a six feet distance away from other people, frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been proven to combat the proliferation of COVID-19.

Chief Medical Officer, Sharon Belmar-George, was among those who spoke at the ceremony. She congratulated the generosity of all involved in the drive. Echoing Dr. Belmar-George’s sentiments was Education Officer for District One, Cyrus Cepal, adding that combatting COVID-19 would require a collective effort.

“Run For Fun” Donates School Supplies

In February 2020, Serenity Vacations & Tours DMC, one of the SLHTA’s allied members, spearheaded the annual “Run For Fun” cruise marathon held in conjunction with Run For Fun Cruise Incorporated, from which $10,000 worth of school supplies were donated to the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).

At a handover ceremony held at the Gros Islet Primary School afterwards, at which tourism and education officials were also present, students who participated in “Run For Fun” were presented with backpacks and other school supplies.

The“Run For Fun” cruise is niche cruise vacation event in which hundreds of individuals and special interest groups from a diverse middle to upper income demography engage in 5-kilometer and 10-kilometer races at select ports of call on seven-day cruises around the globe.

The event is hosted locally by Serenity Vacations & Tours DMC, which secured Saint Lucia as the marquee stop after a successful hosting three years ago, and the TEF believes it is one that benefits the youth in our community.

After the COVID-19 pandemic started in early 2020, some school supplies were still in storage. In August 2020, the TEF donated these essential school supplies to the Alexander Family Foundation and Events, a charity based in Soufriere, who in turn presented these supplies to deserving students.



SAINT LUCIA (December 13, 2019) – The Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association’s Tourism Enhancement Fund has strengthened its support for Saint Lucia’s small and medium enterprises through the establishment of an Enterprise Development Fund. The Fund, an initiative of the Tourism Enhancement Fund, is a loan guarantee facility which enables qualifying small businesses to access the capital critical to enhancing their competitiveness and profitability.

This December, the TEF was pleased to present a check to the first beneficiary of this initiative. Funky Fungi is a local, commercially-capable, supplier of mushrooms owned and operated by entrepreneur Alexis William. The company has been able to reliably and consistently provide product to the hospitality sector that is fresher and more affordable than imported mushrooms.

The small, interest free loan, provided through the Fund, will provide much needed financing to the company and allow them to meet their growing demand from the hospitality sector for their mushrooms this winter season.

This newest venture was unveiled at the organization’s Annual General Meeting in August 2019 and is currently focused on supporting existing enterprises which have already been in operation but are seeking a financial injection to better penetrate the tourism and hospitality sector. In the last few months, in an effort to foster partnerships to grow the initiative, the TEF has met with local financial service providers that will assist in the provision of these small loans to the selected entrepreneurs.

“One of the key goals of the TEF’s work program this year is to bolster the Fund’s support of Saint Lucian entrepreneurs”, noted TEF President, Winston Anderson, “We know providing support to local suppliers is widely beneficial. We have seen this through the success of our Virtual Agricultural Clearing House. It is therefore our hope that the support of a company like Funky Fungi will begin to make a dent in Saint Lucia’s large import bill by ensuring that our hotels can consistently be supplied by local suppliers instead of relying on the importation of goods”.

Financial Update:

Crafty Bumper Stickers Making In-roads in Anti-Litter Campaign

On September 4, 2019, the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSWMA), Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA), and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) officially launched a joint campaign to reduce littering on the island.

Subsequently, in an effort to create sustained awareness against littering, informative bumpers stickers with the message “Garcon, you mad or what?” were created. The bumper stickers featured people tossing litter from their vehicles, a common practice on the island, and the catchy phrase denouncing that practice.

Over 1,000 bumper stickers were printed by the SLHTA and TEF and presented to the SLSWMA by Carl Hunter, Chairman of the SLHTA’s Environmental Committee.

After receiving word from the SLSWMA that the bumper stickers were receiving many positive responses from motorists who had placed them on their vehicles, a second batch of stickers with more colourful alterations were printed and presented to the SLSWMA.

The anti-litter campaign was the follow-up to an annual internship programme hosted by the SLHTA that targeted students from Soufriere Comprehensive School. As part of that programme, students were tasked with creating intuitive, non-offensive modes of convincing people not to litter.   

These stickers are available free of charge at the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT), SLHTA and SLSWMA.

Tourism Enhancement Fund Commits to US$200,000 in Grant Funding to SLUNCF

Protecting the environment forms a major part of the responsibilities of the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). That commitment to the environment was demonstrated in April 2019 when the TEF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Saint Lucia National Conservation Fund (SLUNCF).

In that MoU, the TEF pledged to make an annual donation of US$$100,000 for two years to assist the SLUNCF’s operations and for the issuance of grants to deserving organizations which undertake environmental projects with a tourism focus.

The SLUNCF was officially launched on May 28, 2018. It supports long-term management and expansion of Saint Lucia’s areas of land and/or sea specifically dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and natural resources and other activities that contribute substantially to the conservation, protection and maintenance of biodiversity while creating sustainable livelihoods.

The Trustees on the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), cognizant of the importance of maintaining the integrity of the environment and the social impact that visitors to the island were having on our ecosystems, decided to assist the SLUNCF in reducing the carbon footprint.

One of the first projects earmarked for grants from the TEF pledge is a community youth project in Dennery which focuses on creating signage and awareness related to boa constrictors which cross the main road that runs through that east coast community. Many boa constrictors, which are protected species, have been killed by passing vehicles in that area.

Another project earmarked for assistance concerns coral reef restoration.

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