St. Lucia

Saint Lucia to Host Third “LOVE Elevated” Wedding Symposium

Five-Day Event for Travel Agents and Wedding Planners Showcases Saint Lucia
as an Ideal Backdrop for Destination Weddings

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – From September 23 – 27, 2015, Saint Lucia will host a roster of wedding experts during the third annual “LOVE Elevated” Wedding Symposium. New this year, a panel of real brides who were married on the island will share their destination wedding experiences and first-hand advice with attendees.

“Recognized worldwide as the ‘Most Romantic Island in the Caribbean,’ Saint Lucia has a natural ambiance for weddings and romance,” said Louis Lewis, director of tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “By providing truly useful information to attendees about destination weddings, the Wedding Symposium builds Saint Lucia’s reputation as a premier location for weddings as well as provides opportunities for our island partners to better understand the market.”

Noted speakers will also address the latest trends and topics ranging from “What’s New and Trending in the Industry,” “Using Social Media to Enhance Destination Weddings and Increase Sales,” to “Why Saint Lucia” and “Surviving a Destination Wedding,” providing insights to planning and hosting the perfect wedding on the island.

Panelists and speakers include:

• Michelle Myers, chief revenue officer and publisher of BRIDES, launched Brides Live Wedding, a crowd sourced, live-streamed wedding curated by Brides, which garnered nearly one billion impressions and enabled her to successfully monetize social media. Prior to Brides, Ms. Myers served as vice president and publisher of Lucky magazine and was the founding publisher of People StyleWatch.
• David Beahm, founder and president of David Beahm Design, has drawn from experience with New York’s top florists and special event designers, as well as formal training in theater, television and grand opera, to become one of New York’s top event designers. A favorite of celebrities, socialites and the fashion world, his work on Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas’s wedding was featured in magazines and news shows internationally and touted as the “The Wedding of the Century.” Town & Country magazine has called him “one of New York’s extremely design savvy” talents. His company, David Beahm Design, produces events the world over.
• Alan Berg has been named “North America’s Leading Expert on the Business of Weddings & Events.” Berg’s experience ranges from publisher of two wedding magazines, to vice president of sales at The Knot, and now, a contributing Education Guru for WeddingWire, the leading wedding technology company. He also speaks and consults for WeddingsOnline in Ireland, Dubai and India, as well as Guides For Brides in the United Kingdom.
• Andrea McDowell, previously a TV director for the BBC, is the founder and managing director of the wedding videography company Shoot it Yourself. The company launched five years ago and is the United Kingdom’s largest wedding videography company, producing over 350 wedding videos a year.

romance-heartThe festivities include site visits to unique wedding destinations and hotels around the island, a showcase of island wedding vendors, and the opportunity for attendees to observe a sunset wedding aboard the Pearl Pirate Ship. A picturesque sunset cruise and cocktail reception from the southern side of the island with views of the iconic UNESCO World Heritage Pitons round out weekend activities.

Priced at US $250 per person, the five-day Symposium includes all seminars, social events, site inspections and transportation from select hotels. For a complete schedule and more information, visit http://www.stlucia.org/weddingsymposium/.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, 1-888-4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucianow.com/.

Chocolate Indulgence in St. Lucia

chocolateSOUFRIERE, St. Lucia – In celebration of Chocolate Heritage month in St. Lucia, Anse Chastanet – one of the Caribbean’s leading resorts – is offering two exceptional travel deals.

The luxury resort, which offers breathtaking views of St. Lucia’s twin-peak Pitons mountains, has unveiled “Dan Dous – A Celebration of Chocolate at Anse Chastanet.”

Available in standard, superior and beachside deluxe categories, guests who “Dan Dous” their reservation will receive a chocolate welcome culinary amenity and cocktail, a chocolate infused one-hour spa treatment, a chocolate sensory tasting of the resort’s own organically grown, locally made chocolates and a visit to the resort’s organic farm Emerald Estate in the Soufrière hills.

The special “Dan Dous” package includes complimentary airport transfers, daily breakfast and dinner, offering guests superior luxury at exceptional value at one of the top-ranked hotels in the world.

Guests must book before August 31, 2014, for travel anytime between August 5 and October 31, 2014.

For the ultimate immersion in all things chocolate, travelers can visit Anse Chastanet during its annual Discover Chocolate Festival, which runs from October 10 to 14, 2014.

Anse Chastanet has revitalized cocoa production on its 30-acre estate and now produces healthy yields of the cocoa bean to produce premium quality boutique chocolate products from the Emerald Estate.

“To the delight of our guests, a variety of decadent chocolate desserts and bars are available as well as some special experiences such us an invigorating cup of local cocoa tea and learning the secrets of chocolate production and its uses in our bakeries and kitchens,” said resort owner and executive director Karolin Troubetzkoy.

As guests learn the basic techniques of making chocolate, tempering chocolate, creating fudge, and making a personalized chocolate bar, “they take an awakening journey through the flavor palate of cocoa and the taste of an Emerald Estate Organic Chocolate bar,” said Troubetzkoy.

For chocolate lovers, the best part of a stay at Anse Chastanet may be the opportunity to leave with a sweet souvenir of the experience. “Guests can take home what they make… classes are hands-on, so guests are forewarned to be prepared to be covered with chocolate!”

For more information and package details, visit www.ansechastanet.com.

Saint Lucia to launch Internet Exchange Point

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Saint Lucia is planning to become the next Caribbean country to establish an Internet exchange point (IXP).
That timing seems appropriate. The launch of the Saint Lucia IXP, called SLiX, is being timed as part of Saint Lucia’s celebration of 35 years of independence. Internet traffic originating from one Saint Lucian Internet service providers (ISP) will now terminate on another local ISP’s network without having to go through lengthy, expensive, international routes.
“We are very proud as part of the CARCIP program to be the latest country in the English-speaking Caribbean to implement an exchange point,” said Christopher Roberts, CARCIP Coordinator in Saint Lucia.
The IXP is a critical component of telecommunications infrastructure that allows local Internet service providers to exchange locally-destined Internet traffic between their networks without cost, Roberts explained.

Bevil Wooding
Bevil Wooding

Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist and Caribbean Outreach Manager for US-based Packet Clearing House, is the key technical advisor for the initiative. He described Saint Lucia’s new IXP as “a significant step away from unnecessary dependence on foreign infrastructure and a movement toward new levels of technical independence.”
The net effect, he said, will be reduction in the time it takes for data to move between customers of the island’s various Internet service providers. This brings potentially higher connectivity speeds for local traffic and, ultimately, a better quality of service for Internet subscribers.
PCH is a globally recognised expert in the field of IXP implementation, having built or supported more than one third of the world’s 300-plus exchange points.
The establishment of Saint Lucia IXP is also expected to stimulate locally driven, Internet-based enterprise and innovation.
“The ultimate aim of CARCIP is to improve the efficiency of telecommunications infrastructure development not just in St Lucia but across the whole Caribbean. The lessons we learn in Saint Lucia will benefit the entire region,” said CTU Project Coordinator Junior McIntyre.
CARCIP addresses gaps in submarine cable infrastructure and landing stations, domestic backbone networks and national Internet exchange points (IXPs). The programme was allocated a total disbursement of US$25 million, including loans to the three countries and a grant to the CTU. Through CARCIP, the governments of the three countries have been working toward harmonising the development of their telecommunications infrastructure to maximise synergies and avoid inefficiencies.
Last September, PCH collaborated with the Saint Lucia-based CARCIP team, hosting workshops for stakeholders in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Attending the workshops were representatives from Internet service providers, local content providers, academics, business leaders and government officials.

St Lucia leads off Caribbean innovation workshops

Boosting regional resourcefulness
By Gerard Best

Christopher Roberts, St Lucia coordinator of the Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP), delivers a presentation at the first ICT-Led Innovation Workshop in Castries, St Lucia on February 10, 2014. Photo courtesy: Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting, St Lucia.
Christopher Roberts, St Lucia coordinator of the Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP), delivers a presentation at the first ICT-Led Innovation Workshop in Castries, St Lucia on February 10, 2014. Photo courtesy: Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting, St Lucia.

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Caribbean history is the picture of a region lacking in physical and financial resources, but constantly finding ways to confront those realities through human resourcefulness and ingenuity.

St Lucia, like many Caribbean islands, does not have a history of economic reliance on extractive industries based on the abundance of indigenous minerals. Instead, the country has relied on tourism-related service industries as a main pillar of its national economy.

But a new project from the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting is encouraging non-traditional enterprise through sustainable innovation that incorporates new technology-driven approaches to business.

“Entrepreneurs need to eliminate the fear of failure and instead think of failure as a lesson in what not to do. Failure is not the end; it’s just another node on the learning curve,” said Christopher Roberts, St Lucia Caribbean Communications Infrastructure Programme (CARCIP) project coordinator, based in the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting.

Roberts was delivering remarks at a workshop on technology-driven innovation, held in Bay Gardens Resort, Castries on February 10th and 11th. Like several other speakers, he underscored the difference between systemic, sustainable innovation and personal spasms of creativity.

“Innovation represents a change in thinking, not just the creation or development of a new goods or products,” he said.

The workshop brought together some of the region’s leading minds in the fields of entrepreneurship, information and communications technology, leadership

development and innovation. Keynotes were delivered by Bevil Wooding, an Internet Strategist with decades of experience bringing technology-driven approaches to Caribbean development, and Dr Farid Youssef, expert in neuroscience based in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

The two-day workshop will include presentations from: Norman Gibson, Innovation Specialist, Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI); Ramesh Lalla, Director of the National Enterprise Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NEDCO); Shearvon Devenish, Information Systems Manager, Sugar Beach Resorts; eMagine Solutions;  and Dr Cletus Bertin, Director of Public Service Modernisation, St Lucia.

The workshop is part of St Lucia’s deployment of CARCIP, which aims to harness the country’s innate creativity and stimulate a nationwide culture of innovation through the application of appropriate technology to real-world problems.

Funded by the World Bank, the US$25 million project includes loans to the three countries and a grant to the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Trinidad and Tobago-based organisation coordinating the project across the region.

The CTU met with government officials from the three countries and representatives from the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) in early February to share insights into how each country is tackling the region-wide challenge of developing its telecommunications infrastructure.

The ongoing series of workshops on technology-driven innovation bridges the gap between establishing critical Internet infrastructure and creating social impact in the countries of the region. The workshops will continue in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines over the next two months. Governments of the three countries have been working toward harmonising the development of their telecommunications infrastructure to maximise synergies and avoid inefficiencies.

Delivering opening remarks at the workshop, Junior McIntyre, CTU CARCIP Project Coordinator, recognised the efforts of Ministry officials behind the St Lucia project, including Minister James Fletcher, Permanent Secretary Phillip Dalsou and Dr Cletus Bertin.

CARCIP’s scope is comprehensive. The first phase focuses on gaps in submarine cable infrastructure and landing stations, domestic backbone networks and national Internet exchange points (IXPs). The project is now in its second phase, which focuses on building regional awareness among governments, private sector and civil society of the potential for innovative and effective use of technology.

CARCIP also seeks to identify opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship through the development of business incubators and technology centers in the Eastern Caribbean. But its ultimate aim is the whole sub-region.

“CARCIP will improve the efficiency of telecommunications infrastructure development across the entire Caribbean. The lessons we learn here in St Lucia will benefit the whole region,” said Junior McIntyre, CARCIP project coordinator for the CTU.

Caribbean Boutique and Intimate Hotel Conf in Saint Lucia this Oct.

CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Saint Lucia’s popularity as a conference location is growing, having just notched up an important regional Caribbean gathering.

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s new Caribbean Boutique and Intimate Hotel Conference will book into Saint Lucia from October 13-15, 2011.

Senator Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, announced the island nation was delighted to host the first revised edition of the former Small Hotels Retreat.

“This important conference spotlights the essence of what the region’s small hotels are famous for globally – boutique, intimate, lovely, luxury and legendary,” stated Senator Chastanet.

To make maximum use of Saint Lucia’s stunning physical beauty, the three-day conference will be held at the newly renovated Rodney Bay Marina in the north as well as a location to be confirmed in the old colonial southern town of Soufrière.

“Having hosted CHTA’s 2009 Caribbean Marketplace meeting seamlessly and in the Caribbean spirit of excellence, we are delighted to return to Saint Lucia to produce another incredible event,” said Alec Sanguinetti, Director General of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

It will be an important gathering as owners and managers of the finest Caribbean boutique hotels and intimate properties assemble to learn about the latest trends in this unique and ‘quintessential Caribbean’ market segment.

The event is open only to CHTA members and will feature a trade show component for allied members who comprise a constituency of key decision makers in the Caribbean tourism industry.

About Saint Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia also is home to world class cruise and yachting facilities.

For more information, visit www.saintlucianow.com.