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New Year’s Message From the President of the SLHTA

Karolin Troubetzkoy — President,   Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association
By Karolin Troubetzkoy — President, SLHTA

Dear SLHTA Members,

If ever we were ready to welcome a new year, it is 2021.     The start of 2021 has filled us with a sense of renewal, hope and optimism.

2021 will have a lot to live up to. We want to replace the exhausting, pandemic pandemonium of 2020 with purposeful progress towards recovery.

If there is one lesson that 2020 has taught us, it is that there is absolutely nothing in life any of us can take for granted. Not our health, not our business success nor our carefully crafted plans for the future.

COVID-19 is an enemy that we cannot see, touch or smell, yet it has caused nothing but chaos and disruption to the world at large.

People all around the globe would like to see a sense of normalcy return to their everyday lives. Vaccine or not, the reality is that the wearing of masks, physical distancing and heightened hygiene will continue to play a key role in our lives and in our recovery. The sooner we all accept this “new normal”, the better.

None of us here or elsewhere want to see continued new curfews, lockdowns and outright country travel bans, but to overcome them will require discipline and adherence to the prescribed health and hygiene protocols.

COVID-19 affected the global tourism industry more so than any other industry. According to the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), over 140 Million tourism jobs were lost in 2020. International travel was down by over 65% globally, says the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization). In Saint Lucia we learnt the hard way how much of our economic output is linked to tourism and how many of our businesses are dependent entirely on visitor arrivals and expenditures.

And while tourism is still seen as a foreign industry by many throughout the region, others have learned that the vast majority of hospitality and tourism businesses are locally-owned entities.

Many of our locally owned, small- and medium-sized enterprises saw their life savings erode in 2020 and their future livelihoods threatened.

It is these small and medium enterprises that will need our continued support in 2021, as they will only be able to recover if we are able to ease up on some of the current restrictions and create a safe environment for our residents and visitors alike, allowing for tourism arrivals to further grow and travelers to have confidence in our destination.

Our natural attributes, which include a warm climate, beautiful waters and splendid scenery together with the legendary hospitality extended by our team members and Saint Lucians at large, are ideal ingredients for a successful tourism and hospitality destination. This is why the tourism industry will continue to play a major part in our economies for generations to come. But it’s not all perfect in our Caribbean tourism paradise. With the new year and the better part of the next decade in front of us, let us work together- across the private and public sectors- to create not only a more responsible and resilient but also a fairer hospitality and tourism industry with equal opportunities for all.

Responsible tourism of the future must – more than ever- embrace the full spectrum of operating sustainably beginning with the protection and preservation of the environment, allowing for maximum economic benefit to stay in the host country and facilitating the traveler’s exposure to the host community and its history, art and culture. Future travelers can be expected to choose their vacation destination responsibly, go deeper than the surface and thoroughly understand the places they will visit whilst ensuring that their destination and resort of choice is worthy of their business.

2020 brought out the best and worst in some of us. The frustrations brought on by curfews, economic downturn and loss of jobs are understandable. We must applaud those who put aside their anger and even their own personal, often dire circumstances to reach out to others, not just with words but with amazing actions. I also applaud the newly established Recover Saint Lucia Initiative in which the SLHTA together with our Tourism Enhancement Fund proudly take part.

We are in this together. And we will only be able to recover, if in fact, together, we embrace this new dawn of 2021, not just with hope but with acceptance of the new normal and with determination to save our industry, our communities, lives and livelihoods and with continued consideration and support for those in need.

Together with the SLHTA Board of Directors, our CEO Noorani Azeez and the SLHTA Secretariat we wish you a safe and successful 2021, filled with love, laughter and light.

Karolin Troubetzkoy


Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association

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