St Lucia Plantation and Tourism Industry

Even though the idyll has not been destroyed by ugly high-rise hotels, tourism has still cased problems – the all inclusive resorts of the island own one third of its beds, and even though they provide sports, entertainment and even shopping and are creating new jobs, they are simultaneously making life very difficult for small restaurants, souvenir shops and local tour offices. After all, all-inclusive holiday makers tend to open their wallet just once back home at their travel agency. The Ministry of Tourism is now trying to counter this trend by creating a marketing association of smaller hotels called “The Inns of St Lucia”.

One example, which in fact caused divisions among the islanders, was the development of the exclusive Jalousie Plantation Resort and Spa, as an all inclusive complex, on a spot believed to be a Taino burial ground right between the emblematic Pitons. Although it was welcomed by many in need of work, it was immediately braded “a blot of the island’s character” and an act of desecration by the critics, which included St Lucian poet Derek Walcott who likened it to opening “a casino in the Vatican or a take-away concession inside Stonehenge.” The 114-suite complex remained under-booked after it opened in 1922 and was finally forced to close down in 1995; a compromise was finally reached and it re-opened for the 1997-98 winter season as a Hilton resort with the government as a part shareholder, and no longer on an all-inclusive basis.

Virgin Australia