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Saint Lucia to host World Travel Awards Caribbean & The Americas 2023

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#St.Lucia, March 13, 2023 – World Travel Awards (WTA) has revealed that the paradise island of Saint Lucia will host its Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2023. The leading travel industry figureheads from across the region will attend the red-carpet reception on 26 August 2023.

The VIP evening will take place at Sandals Grande St. Lucian and form the climax of World Travel Week 2023, a week-long celebration of the global travel and tourism sector, featuring a series of events to unite the industry’s thought-leaders and spark debate on key issues. The week will also feature a President’s Reception on the eve of the World Travel Awards winners’ ceremony.

Graham Cooke, Founder, World Travel Awards, says: “I am honoured to unveil Saint Lucia as the host of our Caribbean & Americas Gala Ceremony 2023, in this our landmark 30th anniversary. Saint Lucia is helping to spearhead the recovery of travel and tourism in the Caribbean, and I am delighted this captivating island will form a crucial part of our anniversary tour.”

He adds: “World Travel Awards has maintained its position as the industry leader for the past 30 years, consistently proving its value as the global benchmark for recognising excellence in travel and tourism. I look forward to joining the most senior travel industry figureheads from across the Caribbean and The Americas for what promises to be a fabulous event, acknowledging those organisations spearheading the growth of the region’s travel and tourism sector.”

Blessed by nature, Saint Lucia is a destination of breathtaking beauty, with volcanic mountains magically rising from the clear blue sea, paradise beaches, lush forests and rich cultural heritage.

Honorable Dr. Ernest Hilaire, Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture & Information, Saint Lucia, says: “We are excited to host the prestigious World Travel Awards Caribbean & The Americas Gala Ceremony 2023 and join forces with the global travel and tourism industry to celebrate the 30th anniversary of World Travel Awards. The impact travel and tourism have on our island’s economy cannot be overstated.”

Lorine Charles-St Jules, CEO, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, expressed her excitement about the Authority’s association with the World Travel Awards brand. She remarked: “This will be an incredible boost to our tourism sector as we continue to aim for excellence in the hospitality industry. We are delighted to welcome leaders from across the world and to immerse them in the hospitality and culture of our stunningly beautiful island.”

Saint Lucia 2023 HighlightsIn addition to World Travel Awards, Saint Lucia has a number of key events and activities in 2023:

  1. Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival (5-14 May)The biggest music event in the Caribbean makes a highly-anticipated return after a three-year hiatus. Headline artists include 17-time Grammy winner Sting and reggae icon Shaggy, plus many globally-recognised performers. Tickets now on sale.

  2. Saint Lucia Carnival (12-19 July)Heralded as one of the best Carnivals in the Caribbean, the Saint Lucia Carnival takes place in July, with more than 10,000 visitors expected.

  3. Three Peaks ChallengeNew for 2023, the Saint Lucia Three Peaks Challenge enables visitors to tackle three iconic mountains during their stay: Gros Piton, Petit Piton and Mount Gimie.

  4. Kabawe KrawlThis new trail of bars (Kabawe is Creole for rum shack) gives you an opportunity to meet the locals, swap stories and enjoy some Saint Lucian hospitality. Book a guided tour or if you’re out and about look for the Kabawe Krawl sign at a participating venue.

  5. Romance Summit‘Say Yes to Saint Lucia’ is a Global Romance Summit later this year, enabling agents to meet key partners, including villas, hotels and wedding planners. There will also be keynote speakers, a bridalwear fashion show and a digital media strategy workshop.

  6. Atlantic Rally CruiseThe Atlantic Rally Cruise (ARC) takes place annually and sees a fleet of more than 100 boats set sail from Las Palmas in Gran Canarias to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Saint Lucia.

To download images of Saint Lucia and the amazing Epic Saint Lucia video visit here.

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TCI Sport delegation visits the Cayman Islands and Barbados with key sport leaders

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TCI Sports Commission delegation traveled to the Cayman Islands and Barbados to visit with key Sport leaders. The TCI delegation included the Sports Commission Director, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Deputy Director, Mr. Alvin Parker, and Facility Manager for Providenciales, Mr. Darian Forbes. The aim of the travel was to visit major facilities, with priorities being pool facilities, and discuss sport development strategies.

The team had the pleasure of being hosted by the Deputy Chief Officer for Sport, Dr. Dalton Walter, and the Director of Sports, Mr. Kurt Hyde in the Cayman Islands; who facilitated the facility tours and shared valuable information on Sports Development. Meetings were held with Deputy Chief Officer Ms. Joan West and Technical Director for the Cayman Islands Aquatics Sport Association, Mr. Jacky Pellerin, on the Cayman Islands’ new 50-meter and 25 meter 10 lanes Mrytha pool facility, as well as with Ms. Shakeina Bush from the National Olympic Office on National Federation development and funding opportunities. The Sports Commission delegation was also grateful for the courtesy call with the Minister of Sport for the Cayman Islands, Hon. Isaac Rankine, and the Chief Officer Ms. Teresa Echenique.

During the Barbados leg of the exploratory travel, the Sports Commission team was hosted by the Director of the National Sports Council, Mr. Neil Murrell, and the Assistant Director of Sports, Mr. Ryan Toppin. The TCI team toured the National Sport Council facilities and visited the Barbados National Olympic Association. Significant to the TCI’s plan to develop an aquatic center, the TCI Sports Commission visited the Barbados Aquatic Sport Association and met with former National Olympic Academy Director, Mr. Dave Farmer, and the President and Second Vice President of the Barbados Swim Association, Mr. Robert Armstrong and Mr. Nicholas Mathis. Insights were shared regarding swimming pool design, development and maintenance as well as pool programming strategies to ensure the growth and sustainability of swimming in the islands.

The TCI delegation also visited other stadium facilities such as Track and Field, Football and Cricket, and other major facilities in Basketball and Boxing. The TCI Sport Commission officials had great discussions with both the Cayman Islands and Barbados sports officials surrounding the development of coaches, athlete development pathways, and strengthening relationships with National Sport Governing Bodies.

Director of Sports, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, said, “We were very grateful for the hospitality and support extended by our Caribbean colleagues. Their support affirmed the commitment and unity among the Caribbean community to develop sports in the region.”

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SIDS drowning in debt as sea levels rise

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

June 7, 2024 – United Nations (UN) Secretary General, His Excellency Antonio Guterres has said that international financing is the “fuel for sustainable development” but small island States are running low on the funding.

Addressing  day two of the Fourth International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS24), in Caribbean twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, the Secretary General said while financing is low, the countries are drowning in debt and rising sea levs due to Climate Change.

“You are leading by example, but too often you are facing closed doors, from institutions and, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic and other global happenings have negatively impacted vulnerable economies, and “battered by a Climate catastrophe they did not create”, he told the gathering.

The SIDS countries are paying more to service their own debt than they invest in healthcare and education, the UN chief warned, leaving the nations unable to make the investments they need to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Many of the States are classified as middle-income, shutting them out of the debt support reserved for the poorest nations, the UN Chief argued that vital actions are needed from international financial institutions, in addition to an immediate SDG stimulus for the SIDS nations.

He outlined that the debt burden should be relieved, by providing access to effective relief mechanisms, including pauses in payments during times of economic volatility, while also transforming lending practices by changing the rules on concessional finance to lower borrowing costs. “You cannot finance education and health with 15-year loans. Let us make SIDS a real priority in everything we do,” he said.

Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley said there was simply no political will on the part of the developed world to make the financial system work fairly,  as she enquired  how many  of those leaders have turned up in Antigua. “We are not seen”, she said, adding that “we continue to be serfs” when it comes to the power imbalance.

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are in the crossfires of multiple crises: Climate Change, the economic and social repercussions of COVID-19, and a crisis of debt. The pandemic hugely impacted all island nations, especially those dependent on tourism. Global lockdowns left large holes in islands’ coffers and severely set back efforts to invest in the SDGs.

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Transcultura lauded at SIDS gathering, wins Partnership Awards 2024

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Garfield Ekon

Staff Writer

 

June 7, 2024 – The United Nations (UN) programme, Transcultura, which seeks to integrate Caribbean, and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, has been selected to receive the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Partnerships Awards 2024.

Operate under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), it is the largest programme in Latin American and the Caribbean, and is a four-year initiative for young cultural professionals, artists, and entrepreneurs from 17 Caribbean countries.

Implemented in three languages, it provides them with opportunities for their future, in the region and in Europe, through training, support to entrepreneurship, networking and mobility programmes. With 15 million euros (16.5 million US dollars) provided by the European Union (EU), Transcultura is also the most significant EU investment in culture in the region.

In four years, over 1,600 young people from 17 Caribbean SIDS have benefited from the programme, with more than 50% being women. Through a combination of in-person and online courses, 600 cultural professionals have been trained. It has also facilitated cooperative cultural exchanges involving over 200 organisations from the Caribbean and the European EU. 

The programme resulted in the establishment of the Caribbean Cultural Training Hub, which fostered synergies between key educational institutions in the region. The award’s jury recognised the transformative impact of the Transcultura programme, empowering young people in the region to become agents of change and development in their communities through culture and creativity.

It was established by UN Member States in 2021 to recognise the efforts of the best and most notable partnerships in the implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action Pathway (SAMOA Pathway). The goal is to inspire others to embark on such partnerships with SIDS.

Transcultura programme leverages the rich cultural diversity of the Caribbean as a driving force of sustainable development through cooperation and exchange within the Caribbean and between the Caribbean and the EU. It aims to create professional opportunities for young people in the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Beneficiary countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

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