Widely recognized as a global brand—the Cabot project developers are keen to bring on their expertise to create a world- class ‘tourist and hospitality accommodation’ structure in St Lucia.
The investors are also optimistic about the creation of a large pool of employment opportunities for locals and say they are confident of delivering one of the ‘best golf courses’ in the region, which can adequately cater for a new trend of ‘golf travellers’.
Speaking to reporters, Thursday, Ben Cowan –Dewar, Executive Chairman of Cabot, said the entity, globally, boasts a record of splendid development enterprises in several countries. The founder of the Cabot brand said the initiative was launched about 17 years ago in Canada and has since grown into a global brand product.
He noted that the Cabot developers are equally committed to promoting and sustaining an eco-environmentally friendly ambience at Cabot’s sites.
“I really believe from that first visit that we could build the best golf course in the Caribbean, and if we are successful in doing that …to be able to create a lot of the same things that happened for us in Canada, to draw a new type of tourist,” asserted Dewar.
He was overwhelmed with the topography of the island after visiting here about five years ago “and was immediately taken (aback) by the beauty of the whole island, but especially the site that we are on …Cabot St. Lucia.”
Despite the controversies and ‘political conundrum’ disputing the authenticity of the project, ground works are moving ahead full steam; as reporters witnessed during a field trip to the site, Thursday.
The Cabot chairman said they are equally enthusiastic to be undertaking this project and “to see everything progress at the pace it is, to see new faces and new employment being created and continue to be extremely excited about the project and the prospects ahead.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cabot St Lucia, Kristine Thompson reiterated the potential economic ‘spin offs’ from the project which, she says, can assist in generating employment revenue for locals.
“This will bring to St Lucia a new sector of tourism that currently does not exist today, nor anywhere else in the region …which are tourists that travel just to play golf,” she declared.
Thompson explained that these new set of ‘golf travellers’ are tourists that “actually seek out the best golf courses in the world and travel just for the golf.”
She added that what’s unique about the project is “those people right now are not coming to this part of the region and not coming to St Lucia, and so it’s a whole new sector of tourists.”
The Cabot CEO said these tourists are “also affluent and they also will spend a lot more time here.” She opined that the ‘economic spinoffs’ would be greater as compared to the cruise line visitors and hotel guests.
Thompson said the projects offers prospects for a “unique opportunity in terms of attracting that crew (visitors), and also we’re very committed to the employment of locals first, then regional and then ex-pats.”
She said in instances where upscale work requires the input of foreign experts they will be employed, and also pass on skills training to locals. But employees on the site primarily consists of locals “and it’s really satisfying …to be able to build our team that brings opportunity to this region at a time that we really need it.”
She disclosed that Cabot St Lucia recently launched its ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ program with focus on “creating opportunities for women” to help deal with the challenges of “child care , educational access , transport, training and so on.”
Thompson said that Cabot’s ultimate focus is on “where we can support women and girls, in particular to achieve their greatest potential…and also to provide golf scholarship opportunities.”
Cabot St Lucia envisages that the prospects of hosting ‘big match’ events could add another ‘feather in its cap’ towards the promotion of this global brand product.
“Hosting global television events is a key part of what we’ve done and what we plan to do here,” said Dewar. “There is nothing that you can do to promote golf in a setting like this, than to show people…because it’s such a spectacular setting and we have nine greens on the ocean here.”
He admits that there will definitely be “something in the works” to bring international competition to the destination.
Dewar assured that the uniqueness of the Cabot Project will not pose any undue business competition with adjacent locations in the upper north.
He explained, “Where we see destination golf and that segment of golf traveller, I actually feel that it is a positive thing as it gives more opportunity to people who are coming… you will actually see a growth of people who play golf coming and this has the opportunity to provide more golfers in a bigger market.”
The Cabot chairman views this venture as more of “a collaboration than a competition in the pattern of things.”