Black Meetings and Tourism

March/April 2012

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INVEST IN ROMANCE, COUNSELS SAINT LUCIAN RESORT OWNER When things get tough look beyond the usual, counsels a seasoned Saint Lucian businesswoman and hotelier. "We need to think creatively to increase our share of world tourism," declared Eroline Lamontagne, owner and operator of the award-winning Fond Doux Holiday Plantation in Soufrière, Saint Lucia. Endorsing asser- tions by Saint Lucia Director of Tourism Louis Lewiswho stated "it will not be business as usual in 2012", Lamontagne said a key sector that requires constant focus and attention is the destina- tion weddings and hon- eymoon market which has become Saint Lucia's bread and but- ter niche. "We cannot rest on our laurels," she assert- ed, "and we must redouble our efforts to position our country and our region as the 'go to' destination for weddings, honey- moons, renewal of vows as well as exclusive romantic excursions." Fewmarkets provide a hotel or destinationwith a constant flow of new opportunities like the bridal market, contended Caribbean weddings expert Jacqueline Johnson, president and CEO "It is a year-round business ... and with the steady increase of destination weddings and the close proximity of the Caribbean, destinations with a strategic (approach) will ben- efit from this 'perfect customer'," Johnson said. reports the perfect customer heavi- ly outspends the average leisure traveler and suggests a strategic approach to marketing, including the use of social media. According to the 2012 US Wedding Market Insight Report, June and September are themost in demandmonths 24 Black Meetings & Tourism March/April 2012: for weddings; more couples will attend wedding/bridal show/events;bright,bold and vibrant tones are still in; couples want fun, romantic, and simple events with a touch of formal and tradition; and rustic and vintage continue with high demand. "Our team of wedding planners and coordinators here at FondDoux offer just that – vintagewedding experienceswith all the modern conveniences,"Lamontagne said. She averred in an effort to capture a greater share of the weddings market, Fond Doux had prepared a number of comprehensive packages – available online, across the social media community and via travel agents and tour operators. For further information, visit UNDER MARRIOTT HOTELS & RESORTS BRAND DIGICEL GROUP TO BUILD 173-ROOM PORT-AU-PRINCE HOTEL TO OPERATE Clinton Foundation Instrumental in Bringing the Two CompaniesTogether In Haiti, where new economic activity is critical in the midst of the tremendous efforts to rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in 2010, Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) announced recently it would open the $45 million,173-roomPort-au-PrinceMarriottHotel,underman- agement agreement with ownership group Unigestion

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