The Saint Lucia Showcase – North America, slated for July 25 – 28, is garnering the attention of top travel publications.
Providing media coverage of this year’s showcase are journalists from Recommend Magazine, Travel & Leisure and Elite Travel Media Group, representing some of the most renowned and influential travel publications in the United States and Canada.
The venue for the event is Sandals Saint Grande Lucian St. Lucian Spa and Beach Resort.
The event connects hotels, destination management companies (DMCs) and tourism officials with North American-based tour operators that sell Saint Lucia as one of their primary destinations.
The event will also give attendees and visiting media the opportunity to experience the destination through hotel site visits, a catamaran sail to Soufriere and an evening of music and dancing dubbed ‘Saint Lucia Night’.
The level of attention that Saint Lucia will receive from the international media attending this year’s Showcase should increase the island’s visibility and stimulate the interest of other media outlets in what the destination has to offer.
Hosted by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB), the Saint Lucia Showcase – North America facilitates networking and encouraging business relationships between local hotels and other tourism partners. Additionally, attendees get an opportunity to strengthen and build their product knowledge and rediscover the destination.
The event will also include a Gala Awards Dinner that recognizes the destination’s top selling and producing tour operators. This will be hosted at The Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa. SLTB anticipates a successful hosting of its 5th Saint Lucia Showcase – North America as it continues its drive to facilitate the growth and evolution of the island’s tourism industry.
Save up to 65% at Sandals Grande St. Lucian, described as the “closest vacation to a picture-perfect postcard.”
About Saint Lucia:
Location: Caribbean, island between the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, north of Trinidad and Tobago
The island, with its fine natural harbor at Castries, was contested between England and France throughout the 17th and early 18th centuries (changing possession 14 times); it was finally ceded to the UK in 1814. Even after the abolition of slavery on its plantations in 1834, Saint Lucia remained an agricultural island, dedicated to producing tropical commodity crops. Self-government was granted in 1967 and independence in 1979.
Saint Lucia’s first known inhabitants were Arawaks, believed to have come from northern South America around 200-400 CE. Numerous archaeological sites on the island have produced specimens of the Arawaks’ well-developed pottery. There is evidence to suggest that these first inhabitors called the island Iouanalao, which meant ‘Land of the Iguanas’, due to the island’s high number of iguanas.
Caribs gradually replaced Arawaks during the period from 800 to 1000 CE They called the island Hiwanarau, and later Hewanorra, which is now the name used for the Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort. The Caribs had a complex society, with hereditary kings and shamans. Their war canoes could hold more than 100 men and were fast enough to catch a sailing ship. They were later feared by the Europeans because of stories of violence and cannibalism, but much of this was probably exaggeration on the part of the Europeans. The Caribs were usually generous until attacked or deceived (which are situations common to much of European colonial history).
Today called St. Lucia, much of the island’s population are unaware of the valued contribution to what we today call ‘freedom’. They Europeans called these freedon fighters the Brigands, who were of African and sometimes mixed African-Arawak heritage. Many Brigands still occupy the forests and surrounding areas where they still challenge injustice against them and their indigenous counterparts.
Europeans first landed on the island in either 1492 or 1502 during Spain’s early exploration of the Caribbean. The Dutch, English, and French all tried to establish trading outposts on St. Lucia in the 17th century but faced opposition from Caribs whose land they were occupying.
The English, with their headquarters in Barbados, and the French, centered on Martinique, found St. Lucia attractive after the sugar industry developed in 1765. Colonists who came over were mostly indentured white servants serving a small percentage of wealthy merchants or nobles. Conflict with the Caribs increased as more and more land was taken.
Near the end of the century, the French Revolution occurred, and a revolutionary tribunal was sent to Saint Lucia, headed by captain La Crosse. Bringing the ideas of the revolution to Saint Lucia, he set up a guillotine that was used to execute Royalists. In 1794, the French governor of the island declared that all slaves were free, but only a short time later the British invaded again in response to the concerns of the wealthy plantation owners, and restored slavery after years of fighting. Castries was burned in 1796 as part of that battle between the British and the slaves and French republicans.
Britain eventually triumphed, with France permanently ceding Saint Lucia in 1814. The British abolished the African slave trade in 1807, three years after former slaves in Haiti had gained their independence as the first black republic in the Caribbean, but it was not until 1834 that slavery was actually abolished on Saint Lucia. Even after slavery was officially abolished, all former slaves had to serve a four-year “apprenticeship” which forced them to work for free for their former slavemasters for at least three-quarters of the work week, with final freedom in 1838.
Also in 1838, Saint Lucia was incorporated into the British Windward Islands administration, headquartered in Barbados. This lasted until 1885, when the capital was moved to Grenada.
Increasing self-government has marked St. Lucia’s 20th century history. A 1924 constitution gave the island its first form of representative government, with a minority of elected members in the previously all-nominated legislative council. Universal adult suffrage was introduced in 1951, and elected members became a majority of the council. Ministerial government was introduced in 1956, and in 1958 St. Lucia joined the short-lived West Indies Federation, a semi-autonomous dependency of the United Kingdom. When the federation collapsed in 1962, following Jamaica’s withdrawal, a smaller federation was briefly attempted. After the second failure, the United Kingdom and the six windward and leeward islands–Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla, and St. Lucia–developed a novel form of cooperation called associated statehood.
As an associated state of the United Kingdom from 1967 to 1979, St. Lucia had full responsibility for internal self-government but left its external affairs and defense responsibilities to the United Kingdom. This interim arrangement ended on February 22, 1979, when St. Lucia achieved full independence. St. Lucia continues to recognize Queen Elizabeth II as titular head of state and is an active member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The island continues to cooperate with its neighbors through the Caribbean community and common market (CARICOM), the East Caribbean Common Market (ECCM), and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
The Culture of Saint Lucia blends the influences of African, French, and English heritage. The official language of the island is English but Kreole, a form of French patois, remains an influential secondary language.
The people are predominantly Catholic but the religious climate is tolerant.
Saint Lucian cultural festivals include La Rose and La Marguerite, the one representing the Rosecrucian order, the other one representing Freemasonry, as seen in a mural painted by Dunstan St. Omer, which depicts the holy trinity of Osiris, Horus and Isis. The Christmas season is celebrated and a number of small festivals and parades take place throughout the island.
Saint Lucia also celebrates a cultural festival known as Jounen Kweyol (Creole Day). This is celebrated each year on the week of the 27th of October. On the Sunday of this week, the various towns chosen to host this festival put out the result of their grand preparations; local food and drink such as breadfruit and salt fish, manicou (agouti) and roast bake, lime drinks, guava drinks and more. Most people commemorate this day by wearing the island’s national wear known as the madras. Persons who do not want to wear the extreme layers of skirts and dresses make clothing out of the special plaid material. All of the above is a representation of Jounen Kweyol.
Secular observances include an internationally-renowned Jazz Festival. Beginning in 1991, this annual festival draws crowds of music-lovers from around the world.
As well as other Caribbean music genres such as soca, zouk and reggae, Saint Lucia has an indigenous folk music tradition.
Traditionally, in common with other Caribbean countries, Saint Lucia held a carnival before Lent. In 1999, it was moved to mid-July so as not to clash with the much larger Trinidad and Tobago carnival, and in effort to attract more overseas visitors. It is a two day festival where people walk about two miles. Before carnival there is a competition among women in the country on who to be the queen of carnival of year.
Saint Lucia appeals to all the senses with some of the most uplifting attractions in the Caribbean. From champagne sunsets, magical mountains and beautiful palm-fringed beaches to sumptuous spas, delicious dining and a world-class choice of accommodation.
Treat yourself to this sensational island today.
[Source: Research/Saint Lucia Tourist Board/CIA Factbook/(Saint Lucia Times -/- Media Relations)]
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