PRESIDENT of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), SanovnikDestang has been painting a silver lining around a dark cloud.
Saint Lucians have been complaining about the loss of a popular beach party that has been shred-up in Saint Lucia for the past three years. But Destang says although the island will not be hosting the Mercury Beach event this year, all is not lost.
Destang told local reporters that while it is ‘disappointing’ to know that negotiations for the event did not go as well as hoped, there was still something in the pipeline – but he did not disclose.
“There are still plans to ensure that it is not a total loss in terms of this sort of event,” he explained.
According to the president, local entrepreneurs are trying to see what they can salvage, if not this year, then certainly for the future.
He said Mercury Beach is a private event with investors being able to change their minds about where the activity is held.
“Suffice it to say, if you were to ask the majority of the patrons where they would prefer to have the event, there is no doubt that Saint Lucia would come out on top due to the ease of getting here, due to the quality of accommodation, due to the spending power,” the SLHTA President observed.
He however described Mercury Beach as having had a positive impact on tourism in Saint Lucia during a traditional slow season.
The event dates back on July 2013 when it was held in Martinique and four subsequent ones were held in Saint Lucia.
It was billed as an up-market event with the primary objective of providing a unique beach experience to Saint Lucians and visitors.
However, this year the event was called off, reportedly partly due to differences between the in dependent private organisers and local agents – and with some of the original organisers claiming too that there is/was a political aspect to the decision.