Black Meetings and Tourism

May/June 2012

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CARIBBEAN CALL TO BUILD DIASPORA BRIDGES Bring Caribbean islanders living abroad closer to the center of our plans, urged a St. Lucian businesswoman. Eroline Lamontagne, a regional hotelier and entrepreneur, has renewed calls on the Caribbean's public and private sector leaders to get behind the Diaspora to help move the region for- ward. Lamontagne, proprietor of the Fond Doux Holiday Plantation resort in the charming old colonial St. Lucian town of Soufrière, believes the region's approach towards leveraging the intellectual resources and financial capital of the Diaspora has been weak. Rather than treating Caribbean peoples living overseas as an afterthought, she asserted, "Diasporic relations must be cen- tral to our development strategy." Speaking on the occasion of Saint Lucia's 33rd ties for their impact to be even better felt and their contribu- tions to be better appreciated." Fond Doux recently threw its support behind the Saint Lucia House Foundation's gala in Brooklyn, which culminated New York activities celebrating St. Lucia's independence from Great Britain. "The Saint Lucia House Foundation is quite pleased with the outpouring of support it received during this year's activi- ties in New York to mark our beloved nation's 33rd anniver- sary of independence," said Jeremiah Hyacinth, the Foundation's New York-based public relations officer. He thanked patrons, sponsors and the island's external affairs min- ister, Alva Baptiste, for making the activities a success. St. Lucia gained its independence from Great Britain on February 22, 1979. For further information, visit Independence anniversary, the successful entrepreneur point- ed to remittances, travel, investment and philanthropy as four areas in which members of the region's expatriate community contribute the greatest. She advocated a more deliberate approach to harness the goodwill and skills of the Diaspora: "We must formalize our 26 Pictured above,KarenEastmond (center),winner of a Fond Doux Holiday Plantation vacation, is congratulated by (from left) the Saint Lucia House Foundation's Sandra Reynolds- Bowden, Natasha Monchery-Polius and Sheilina Barnard as well as Lorine St. Jules of the Saint LuciaTourist Board at the independence gala in NewYork. Black Meetings & Tourism May/June 2012:

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