Above: St Lucia (CJ Photo)
By Dana Niland
St Lucia is working on a new program that will directly link its communities with tourism development.
The Ministry of Tourism, Heritage, and Creative Industries has teamed up with The Visitor Channel and the Alliance Francaise for a project called The Community Tourism Promotion Program.
The program will work to increase access to St. Lucia’s communities by making them more visible to those in hotel rooms, private homes, and to the worldwide online community.
It will feature six distinct sub-brands, all of which highlight specific attractions that will interest tourists, and, as a result, stimulate economic activity within the communities.
Local artists, musicians, and craftsmen have long sought more effective access to island visitors.
The government said that the information propagated by this new project would equip those travelers with interest in local art and souvenirs with the means to find what they are looking for amongst the communities.
This program also comes as a response to the demand for heritage tourism, which has been rising for the past five years, the government said.
Tourists have been increasingly seeking vacations with more of a cultural experience, but, until now have struggled with the issues of lack of visibility and information.
In a statement, The Visitor Channel said it was “excited to lend this visibility to the local artist, craft producers, and site owners, as they discuss their influences, describe their products and talk directly to the visitor.”
The Visitor Channel said it had already amassed 20,000 views for some of its community village programs on its online platforms.
Artists have already begun to pre-package their high-quality items, from carvings to clothing to original paintings —and are ready to market them to visitors at competitive prices.