Monday 11 November, 2019

Dignitaries attend Fairmont sod turning

The Government of Saint Lucia is continuing the drive to bring increased investment, sustainable employment, economic activity, and development to the south of the island.

The latest in a series of tourism, agriculture and technology-related projects took the government to the west coast village of Choiseul for the sod-turning ceremony for Fairmont Saint Lucia.

The 120-room luxury hotel with 40 private residential villas is expected to open in late 2019.

Residents of Choiseul and Saltibus, as well as specially invited guests attended the afternoon sod-turning ceremony for the eco-friendly resort at Sab Wisha Beach.

Parliamentary Representative for the area and Minister for Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs, Hon Bradly Felix said the ceremony marks an important day in history for the people of Choiseul.

“We will witness the beginning of the long-awaited infrastructural transformation that Choiseul needs in order to bring out its true potential and generate a greater level of economic activity,” Minister Felix noted. “As a community rich in culture, arts and craft, talent, creativity and natural assets, we welcome the construction of this luxury hotel in Sab Wisha which will further enhance and augment the natural ambiance of our simply beautiful community.”

The minister said Choiseul is poised to become a significant contributor to Saint Lucia’s economic, social and financial development.

“It is imperative that we take full advantage of this opportunity by bringing out our best talent, craft work, knowledge and skills in enabling Choiseul to become a more vibrant, attractive and driven community where our locals and foreign visitors actually want to escape to,” the Minister said, highlighting that the hotel will feature arts and crafts from the community.

Among the benefits of the hotel to the community is the creation of jobs, job training, an improved standard of living, reduction in the poverty rate, increased economic activity, creation of new micro and small businesses, enhancement and conservation of the environment, revitalization of the local arts and craft sector and improvement in road infrastructure.

Chairman of Invest Saint Lucia (ISL) Pinkley Francis said the project is a sign of increased investor confidence in Saint Lucia. He also identified the linkages that will be created.

“Our farmers have much to look forward to,” said Mr. Francis. “With Choiseul’s enviable reputation as a sustainable farming community, the linkage between agriculture and tourism will be solidified once this project comes on stream. While this resort is valued at US $220 million, the value of the investment to the island is far greater. The fact that the internationally acclaimed Fairmont Hotels and Resorts have agreed to brand this new resort is indeed a significant demonstration of investor confidence in Saint Lucia.”

Also speaking at the event was Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet.

“All too often the people from Choiseul have had to migrate all around the island to be able to get jobs,” he said, highlighting their work ethic and creative talents.

“There has been many an attempt for you to come to Saint Lucia and I am glad that it has finally come through. On behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia I want to say how grateful we are for the confidence you have in Saint Lucia and how much we look forward to working with you in promoting our destination.”

Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Hon Dominic Fedee; the Chairman of the Choiseul Village Council, Bryan Charles; and representatives from Fairmont and the GP Group JSC Chairman Georgi Vassilev also spoke at the event before the official sod turning.

The project is an undertaking of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, now part of AccorHotels, and GP GROUP JSC. Fairmont Saint Lucia at Sunset Bay will join Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic sister properties Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados, and Bermuda's Fairmont Southampton and Hamilton Princess and Beach Club, a Fairmont Managed Hotel.

The sod-turning ceremony for Fairmont Saint Lucia was held on Thursday, June 29.

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