Safety in tourism is key to a successful destination. Destinations like Saint Lucia in the Caribbean know this and stakeholders reached out eTN affiliate safertourism.com to conduct an initial audit on the safety and security situation of the countries travel and tourism industry. Safertourism.com is a joint partnership between the eTN Corporation and Tourism and More under the leadership of Dr. Peter Tarlow.Dr. Peter Tarlow is considered a leading expert in tourism security. He arrived in Saint Lucia yesterday to explore and evaluate how safe Saint Lucia is for visitors.Saint Lucis is considered a safe destination by the U.S. State Department, Canada, and European Countries, but Muggings have occurred in areas frequented by tourist and petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs and increases with the approach of annual festivities, such as:
- the jazz festival in May
- carnival celebrations in July
- the winter holiday season.
Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts, and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rainforest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port.
Dr. Tarlow reports from St. Lucia: “Today was our first real day in St Lucia. There is no doubt that this a beautiful island. It is a land filled with tropical forests, carpeted with fields of flowers, covered with mountains that seem to hug the sea, and at the same time touch the sky. The landscaper reminds an observer of a mixture of the Brazilian jungles set in the context of the lushness of Hawaii. Many of the coastal coves are filled with magnificent yachts, and the landscape is dotted with millionaires’ homes. I would call our hotel a place of “elegant quiet”. Unlike so many of the Caribbean’s vac
ation centers, there is an understated sense of sophistication here, a place of chirping birds set against a background of white tablecloths, a land of classical music and jazzToday I visited several hotels, beaches, and marinas. I was struck by the warmth of the smiles coupled with tourism officials’ willingness to be both honest and transparent. As in any new country trying to find its way in the world, there are political disagreements, the reality that socialized medicine simply bankrupts a nation, and in the end, it is the poor who pay the price, and the realization that fatherless families produce unhappy people. These issues are of course not unique to St. Lucia; they are universal. However St Lucia is small, everyone seems to know everyone else, and thus big problems seem even bigger here.Despite these universal problems, St Lucia has great tourism potential. Its weather is as warm as its people, its landscapes sweep into the shimmering sea, its scenery alternates between that of desert-like to that of a lush rain forest, and its cuisine mixes the best of the Caribbean. The goal then will be to transform its challenges into universal blessings for both its visitors and citizens. No easy task, but a worthwhile battle to fight.Happy Mother’s Day from St. Lucia. Tomorrow I continue my listening tour.