Travel professionals from across the world are gathering in St. Lucia for Caribbean Marketplace, the most important tourism marketing event of the year for the Caribbean region. But aside from doing business and catching up with old friends, one group are demonstrating that tourism benefits the whole community by getting stuck into some serious painting and decorating at an orphanage in Ciceron, St. Lucia.
(Pictured above: Allen Chastanet, Tourism Minister of St. Lucia, second left, along with volunteers from Virgin Holiday - Duncan Tipper, Jane Tippen, John Taker, Nicola Goldsmith and Andy Reekie)
Allen Chastanet, Tourism Minister of St. Lucia, is spearheading the project to improve the welfare of Holy Family Children’s Home Ciceron. His volunteers from Virgin Holidays and St Lucia’s Windjammer Landing Resort gave a helping hand in the form of a fresh lick of paint for the orphanage, as part of its ongoing impovement programme.
(Pictured above: Duncan Tanner of Virgin Holidays is a dab hand with a brush)
Minister Chastanet has dedicated his working life to developing the tourism industry in his native St Lucia, both in the private and public sector. Prior to his ministerial appointment, his roles have included Chairman of CHA’s Marketing Committee, President St. Lucia HTA, Managing Director Coco Resorts and Director of Tourism, St. Lucia Tourist Board.
His approach is about using to tourism to foster prosperity for the whole community, not just those at the top of the chain.
The Virgin Holidays team visited the Holy Family orphanage as part of a planned return visit to paint and perform other repair works needed since its last visit. Its community work is ongoing on St. Lucia and across the Caribbean as a region.
(Above: some wholesome Caribbean grub after a hard day’s graft)
Rachel Mccaffery, Virgin Holidays Responsible Business Manager, said: “Our volunteering days are something that we are passionate about helping out in the communities we work, many of us have been involved in various projects over the years while working at Virgin Holidays.”
“The day was really sucessful, with the childrens’ bedrooms re-painted and storage sorted. I really feel its as much about giving time as giving money.”
(Below: Volunteers from Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort)