E-Newsletter March 2011 Issue #3
Subject: E-Newsletter March 2011 Issue #3
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The Chief Executive Officer of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) Mr. Glen Beache attended this year's Routes Americas. The event which is the 4th region's annual air service development forum, was hosted by AERODOM in the Dominican Republic. It is the only airline/airport marketing event that recognizes the vital interdependence of the North, South and Central America markets.

world_routesA record number of delegates attended the event, as Routes Americas offers an unrivalled platform for airlines and airports to do business face to face. It was the first time that the Routes Americas conference has been held in the Caribbean.

At the 4th Routes Americas event, SVGTA’s CEO shared the news with airlines and other development partners, of plans to commence operations of the new Argyle International Airport (AIA) in early 2013. Mr. Beache provided updates on the progress of the Airport, which is expected to attract direct flights from key North American and European gateways. He stated that the AIA has sparked the interest of major carriers from the USA, Canada and Europe along with leading hotel and resort companies, who are taking a closer look at investment opportunities in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
For more information on the Argyle International Airport see: http://www.svgiadc.com




staffThe St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) has complemented its human resources team.  The management and staff of the SVGTA congratulate Ms. Kathique Haynes, on her promotion as Marketing Officer. Ms. Kathique Haynes has held the position of Hospitality Officer at the SVGTA for the last two years; prior to that  she served for seventeen years in the Ministry of Tourism as a Tourism Information Officer and Statistical Officer. 

A hearty welcome is extended by SVGTA’s management and staff to Mr. Marlon Joseph, Hospitality Officer, and Ms Felecia George, temporary Tourism Information Officer. Mr. Joseph and Ms. George joined the SVGTA team in February 2011.



The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) is inviting all accommodation properties, tour operators, tour guides and short term vehicle rentals to participate and register for the upcoming “Approved Tourism Operator” program.
The Authority believes that in order for the country’s tourism industry to continue to compete on the international arena, the products and services must be continuously enhanced to meet and surpass the expectations of visitors and locals alike. In light of this the SVGTA and by extension the Ministry of Tourism and Industry endeavor to facilitate the development of all stakeholders.

In 2009 the SVGTA was mandated to develop tourism service standards which would act as minimum guidelines for the operations of all such services. Thus far, the Authority in collaboration with the SVG Bureau of Standards and various stakeholders have been successful in completing the Tourist Accommodation Standard and Codes of Practice for Tour Operators, Tour Guides and Short-term Vehicle Rentals all of which are now at the implementation stage.

The implementation process is comprised of two components namely, training and inspection. In order to assist our stakeholders in meeting the requirements of the standard, the Authority recognizes the need for training of personnel within the industry.  The Authority will therefore offer free training for employees and operators of the mentioned operations in areas such as Customer Service, Tourism Education, Tour Guiding Techniques, Food Safety and Hygiene, Fire Safety and Basic First Aid. It is the intention of the Authority to commence training in the month May; as such, we encourage speedy registration.

Meanwhile, the SVGTA is endeavoring to begin the initial assessment of accommodation properties in the month of August 2011.  This first assessment acts as a two-fold process: to sensitize stakeholders on the requirements and also assist with identifying areas for improvements prior to our formal inspection scheduled to commence in 2012.

Consequently, to facilitate both processes we invite you to complete the appropriate pre-registration form. Getting this information from you will aid us in understanding how best we can assist and meet your needs and those of your employees. You are also welcome to call or visit our office located on the 2nd Floor of the NIS Complex, Upper Bay Street for further information. Additionally, you are encouraged to purchase a copy of the applicable Standard or Code of Practice from the SVG Bureau of Standards or the SVG Tourism Authority. The Accommodation Standard costs EC$40.00 while the Codes of Practice costs
EC $20.00.

It would be prudent for all stakeholders to become familiar with the requirements that are outlined in the standard.


Mr. Marty Snyderman, of Dive Training visited St. Vincent & the Grenadines on a familiarization tour during March 8th-16th 2011.  Dive Training, with a circulation 100,000 reaches new divers through the owners and instructors at practically every dive center in the United States, as well as Canada and the Caribbean, with editorial targeted to students, instructors and dive retailers.  www.dtmag.com is an added component featuring the online version of the magazine and additional content, with an average of 7,915 monthly visitors.


ARD_fam_tour_loresSt. Vincent & the Grenadines, Belize and Honduras will be featured on a travel program dubbed ‘Journeys of the World’ (Welt Reisen).  The focus of this 10-12 minute ARD Television Production will be on the destination’s tourism and the Garifuna people.

Representatives from ARD Television Production film conducted the film shoot in St. Vincent & the Grenadines during March 8th -16th.  ARD Television Production is the largest and oldest television broadcaster in Germany, that reaches several millions of viewers, and it is based in Mexico.



St. Vincent & the Grenadines has copped ‘The Most Improved Destination’ and ‘Best Destination Experience (Independent)’ in the 2010 Dream World Cruise Destinations Annual Awards.  Escape to Bequia, St. Vincent, received commendations for ‘Best Attraction Experience’ which encompasses the best combination of product, friendly, professional staff and efficient organization. The awards were received by Marketing Officer Ms. Kathique Haynes, at Sea Trade Cruise Shipping Tradeshow, Miami, Florida.

These annual awDream_World_Award_presentation2ards are based on surveys and the polls cast by senior management executives of the world’s cruise industry. By winning the Dream World Cruise Destination Awards St. Vincent & the Grenadines has proven that, the destination can adapt to meet the challenges of our time and work closely with the cruise industry, to deliver what is the most important part of their service, to provide special experiences to cruise passengers. 

'The Most Improved Destination' is awarded on the merit of improvement to tourism product and or infrastructure; e.g. city/town centre landscaping; traffic flow; provision of transport; access to tourism information; new attractions/experiences.  'The Best Destination Experience (Independent)' is awarded on the merit of a destination, where the quality of the experience is derived from passengers making their own arrangements for their time ashore.

The awards listing has been published in the Spring Issue 2011, of the Dream World Cruise Destinations Magazine, a publication dedicated to the business of cruise, ports and destination analysis, comments and news.
For more information see: http://www.ashcroftandassociates.com/awards.html


St. Vincent & the Grenadines participated in the Sea Trade Cruise Shipping Tradeshow & Conference, Miami, Florida from March 14th-17th 2011. Sea Trade Cruise Shipping Miami is the world's most important and largest annual meeting for the cruise industry. For over 26 years, Cruise Shipping Miami has brought together top industry suppliers, quality cruise line buyers and decision makers from around the world.


The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) was represented at this event by Ms. Kathique Haynes, Marketing Officer (North America), and Ms. Celia Ross, Director of Sales in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USA Tourist Office.  The other delegates from St. Vincent & the Grenadines were representatives from the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Port Authority, Invest SVG and Coreas Shipping and Tours.

Key meetings to promote St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ cruise tourism were held with cruise line executives and other officials from the cruise sector. The delegation also held a meeting with Ms. Michelle Paige, President of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA); it was chaired by the CEO of the SVG Port Authority, Mr. Bishen John.

During the tradeshow, promotional materials were distributed to visitors at the booth, along with samples of local confectioneries (ginger, coconut, papaya, tamarind, and guava) prepared by the SVGCC Division of Hospitality students. Wines and crème liqueur, which were contributed by local distributors F. A. Gonsalves Company Limited, were also served.
For more information on Sea Trade Cruise Shipping Miami see: http://www.cruiseshippingmiami.com


International Tourism Bourse popularly known as ITB was held in Berlin, Germany, from March 9th-13th 2011.  ITB is dedicated to travel and tourism, and has grown to be one of the biggest travel trade shows in Europe. At this show a wide cross section of the travel trade gets the opportunity to establish new contacts, and at the same time build on existing business relations.
ITBloresSt. Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) participated at ITB through a joint sharing arrangement with the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO); SVG’s booth was manned by Ms. Barbara Mercury, Director of Sales in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines UK Tourist Office.

During the first three days, meetings were held with tour operators and various travel agents, who were educated and updated about developments in SVG’s tourism industry; in which the new international airport stimulated a lot of discussion among the travel trade. The two remaining days were dedicated to consumers who used the opportunity to look for holiday destinations.  
The next ITB is scheduled for March 7th-11th 2012 see the following for more information:


The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Canada Tourist Office will attend its fifth show for 2011 in Canada's capital city Ottawa from April 2nd-3rd. The acclaimed Travel and Vacation Show welcomes patrons from the city which is home to Canada's federal government offices, parliament and all diplomatic embassies.  

Ottawa is also a city that loves to travel. For the past three years the show gave free entry to patrons of a Wedding Show that takes place in a hall next door, so that exhibitors are also exposed to a wedding and honeymoon clientele. For more details on The Travel and Vacation Show see:  http://www.travelandvacationshow.ca

Canada_promotion_loresTo date, Director of Sales Mrs. Shelley John, has participated in the Toronto Boat Show which recorded 75,000 visitors, ANTORAMA 2011 in Quebec City which hosted 40 travel agents, The Halifax Boat Show in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Routes Americas 2011 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where meetings were held with prospective airlines for SVG’s new international airport.

A joint partnership with itravel2000 brought St. Vincent & the Grenadines to the airwaves across Canada with radio advertisements, and to the homes of the consumer with television advertisements, which both gave a small taste of what the destination has to offer.

This awareness has translated to increased website hits on www.itravel2000.com where  St.Vincent & the Grenadines pages were very active, and social media messages have been encouraging. The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Canada Tourist Office therefore looks forward to some of this translating into bookings.


The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) will host its Annual Planning Meeting in St. Vincent & the Grenadines, during the week April 5th-10th 2011.  Activities will include a conference, updates from SVGTA’s overseas staff and public relations agencies, and familiarization tours of tourism sites. The week will culminate with the launch of an application and a new destination logo.



What is the meaning and importance of the TSA?
Firstly, TSA is short for Tourism Satellite Account. The main purpose of the TSA is to make the economic (financial) impact of the tourism sector visible. It can be considered a cost-benefit analysis of tourism. The figures provided in the TSA are combinations of real figures (e.g. tourist arrival numbers from the E/D cards) and estimates from sample data (e.g. the visitor expenditure surveys).

Who bears the responsibility and ownership of the TSA?
Although the legal authority to collect all statistics rests with the Central Statistics Office (CSO); the data collection, analysis, dissemination and maintenance of the TSA is shared between the CSO, the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA) and the Ministry of Tourism (MOT).

What information is needed to compile the TSA?
The UNWTO recommended ten tables for a fully completed TSA. The first four tables (1 – 4) contain information related to the demand for tourism products and services. The next table (5) contains information related to the supply of tourism products and services. Table 6 reconciles tables 4 (Demand) with table 5 (Supply). This table is the nucleus of the TSA as this is the table that will say for instance, “50% of all expenditure in the Hotel and Tourism Sector was a result of tourist spending”. Table 7 contains information on employment in tourism industries. Table 8 has information on Tourism Gross Fixed Capital Formation. Table 9 details the tourism collective consumption by functions and levels of government. Table 10 outlines non-monetary indicators of Tourism.

Where will the information come from?
TSAThe demand side information will come from expenditure surveys of samples of Stay-over, Yacht and Cruise visitors as well as the aggregate data collected from the E/D cards. This aspect of data collection will be done by the SVGTA. The supply side information will come from the Supply and Use tables (SUT) of the National Accounts Department in the Ministry of Finance and Planning. The other information will come from the Labor Department and various other Government ministries.



December 2010 registered declines in all of the visitor categories except the same-day and yacht categories when compared to the same periods in 2009. For the month of December 2010 : stay-over arrivals declined by 5.9%, while same-day arrivals increased by 2% and yacht arrivals increased by 10%.  Cruise ship visitor arrivals declined by 38% with 26 calls in December 2010 versus 37 calls in 2009.
For the  period January-December  2010 compared with the same period 2009; stay-over arrivals declined by 3.9%; same-day arrivals declined by 1.9% while yacht arrivals increased 4.3%. The overall 14.7 % that is registered can be largely attributed to the significant 25.8% decline in cruise ship visitor arrivals. This drop in cruise arrival figures is due to a 20% drop in cruise ship calls to the destination with 131 in 2010 vs. 164 in 2009.







The grand opening of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines 9th Annual Gospel Fest will be held on Sunday, April 3rd 2011, at the Victoria Park at 6:00 p.m.  This year’s festival will be celebrated from April 3rd to May 1st under the theme “Declaring the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory of God.”

The festival will climax with two nights of national showcases on April 30th and May 1st with the best of SVG in music, song, dance, drama and sermonettes. Guest artistes will include the local group Voices of Victory, Nicole Ballosingh of Trinidad, and Anthony ‘Papa Das’ Glasgow residing in the Virgin Islands.  Rev. Ishmael Charles who also resides in the Virgin Islands will be the Guest Minister.

The 2011 Gospel Fest sponsors include the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority, The Department of Culture, Korean Divine Designs, Sugar George Rentals, and New Life Ambassadors, first time sponsor Courts SVG Ltd., Fran Paul’s Selections and Total Inspiration 100.5 Fm.



The 45th anniversary of Easterval will be celebrated in Union Island, from April 17th-25th 2011, under the theme "Uniting People, Preserving Culture for 2011 Easter.” The Union Island Easterval Committee is the organizing body of Easterval.

Easterval showcases sporting competitions, beauty pageants, costume designs, J'Ouvert and a street jump-up. This year’s activities will include aa "Easter Bunny Parade,” "Hats Off To Easter," and "Reggae meets Soca."

Easter Festivities in Union Island began in 1966, which was organised mainly by the Selby Family, who were Unionites based in Trinidad. The program only included athletics, sailing boat and pumpkin wood boat racing, which took place in the Ashton harbour. The land activities were held at the Ashton Salt Pond, where participants received prizes sponsored by Trini-Unionites.
See http://www.unionislandeasterval.com for more information on Easterval along with the 2011 Program of Activities.




Bequia Easter Regatta has grown into one of the region’s most popular small island regattas, with visitors and competitors participating in the Easter weekend’s activities. The 30th Bequia Heineken Easter Regatta will take place from April 21st- 25th 2011.

The event is organized by the Bequia Sailing Club.  Bequia Easter Regatta highlights a unique blend of local boat racing, yacht racing and Bequia hospitality.  The 2011 schedule of events includes Friendship Bay Races, Around Bequia Race, Sandcastle Competition, Crazy Craft Race, Lower Bay All Day Beach Splash, Admiralty Bay Triangle Race, and the Grand Prize Giving Ceremony.

This year’s regatta is sponsored by Heineken, Mount Gay Rum, the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority, United Insurance, Mountain Top Water, Tradewinds Cruise Club, the Frangipani Hotel, Bequia Beach Hotel and Coca Cola.
For more information on Bequia Easter Regatta see:




It was said that the indigenous people of St. Vincent used this crop to draw toxins from flesh wounds made by poison arrows. What am I called?
The answer will be published in the next issue.

Issue#2 Knowledge Check on Hairouna:
In 1795, this Chief  led the revolt against the British in St. Vincent.  Who am I?
Answer: Joseph Chatoyer.
Joseph Chatoyer is a national hero of St.Vincent & the Grenadines.  Chatoyer was a Garifuna (Carib) chief who led a revolt against the British colonial government of St. Vincent in 1795. For two centuries, the indigenous Carib population of the island succeeded in resisting European attempts at colonization by retreating to the mountainous, densely forested interior of the island.  
For more information on Joseph Chatoyer view:





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Published by:
The St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority (SVGTA)

P.O. Box 834
2nd Floor, NIS Building
Upper Bay Street, Kingstown
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Tel: 784-456-6222
Fax:  784-485-6020
Email: svgta@discoversvg.com





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