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More Assistance to Castries Market Vendors

Image: Jeremie Street provisions vendors, days before eviction.

The Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries, under the OECS Regional Tourism Competitiveness Project (ORTCP) has completed the process of gathering information from vendors at the Castries market, on what additional individual assistance they need to boost their enterprise, and generate more revenue opportunities.

The Ministry of Tourism began working with vendors in June during which time they met with vendors of the Castries Market and Arcade, who had previously benefited from the 2018 training under the ORTCP. As part of this activity, the Ministry sought to determine: a) Progress/changes made by vendors since their 2018 training under the ORTCP; b) Reasons for any changes or the lack thereof; c) Benefits and/or issues experienced as a result of the changes made; and d) Main areas for additional support, in order of priority.

Based on discussions with the vendors, Project Manager of the ORTCP, Dr Lorraine Nicholas recognised that despite the positive impacts of the ORTCP training workshops in 2018, most vendors have been unable to implement recommended changes, because of lack of technical support, and insufficient resources. However, the small number of vendors who made changes, showed improvements only to their presentation and product lines.

“We have taken note of the various areas of need expressed by vendors, which include brand identity; product packaging, labelling and interpretation; sourcing more local products; sales and marketing; and booth enhancements”, Dr Nicholas said.

Part of this phase of the work being undertaken under the ORTCP with the Vendors, include a thorough inspection of the Castries Market and Arcade, taking into account key operational factors such as layout, traffic flow, product display, and presentation, ambiance, equipment and facility requirements.

Once the work of the consultant is completed, the ORTCP will seek to deliver assistance to vendors in the following general areas:

  1. a) Product development/enhancement (including display and presentation as well as sourcing unique local products and suitable materials to develop specialised unique products)
  2. b) Customer Relations
  3. c) Marketing, including on-line marketing options
  4. d) Branding, Labeling, packaging and presentation of clear business identities
  5. e) History and cultural knowledge

The ORTCP is a six-year tourism development Project, which is funded by the World Bank with the aim of stimulating tourism growth on the island.

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