Sandals in tourism drive

Dozens of pupils from secondary schools across St Lucia have taken part in Treasure St Lucia, a joint initiative between Sandals Resorts International and the St Lucia Tourist Board aimed at encouraging the island’s schoolchildren to help promote tourism.

Treasure St Lucia, backed by the Ministry of Education, took the form of a travel trade style exhibition, held at the Sandals Grande St Lucian Spa and Beach Resort. Pupils from 10 schools each designed and exhibited a display booth, the best of stands to win 5,000 EC dollars (2,000 USD or 1,100 pounds sterling). A further 3,000 EC dollars will go to the runner up, with 2,000 EC dollars awarded for third place. The winning teams will be announced later this month.

The judging panel, made up of representatives Sandals Resorts International and officials from St Lucia’s hotel and tourism sectors, awarded points for various criteria, including pupils’ knowledge of St Lucia, creativity and the use of products indigenous to the island.

Speaking at the event, Ignacio Perez, Regional Director for Sandals Resorts in the Eastern Caribbean, called for tourism to play a more active role in the schools curriculum. “If tourism is going to develop a sustainable base, the story of its vital importance must be told in schools. Tourism is backbone of St Lucia’s economy. At Sandals, we believe that young people must be given every opportunity to understand the value of tourism to the country and the role they can play in its development.”