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National standards for saint Lucia's beaches in the making

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Contact:  Shannon Lebourne


Monday 23 May 2011  The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has engaged a team of consultants to develop national standards for the use and management of beaches around Saint Lucia.


The project which is being funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat will ensure that Saint Lucia has clear guidelines for citizens and visitors alike to enjoy various beach facilities in a sustainable manner.


Consultant team leader, Jonathan Mc Cue, says the aim is to ensure that all beaches have appropriate facilities and management systems.


“The project is going to look at four sub areas. We are going to look at education and information, in other words how we can communicate to tourists and locals the risks and opportunities involved in using the beach.


“We will look at safety and security which will include the provision of lifeguard services at appropriate locations. We will also focus on beach facilities including drinking facilities, toilets, sanitary and washing areas.”


With increased signs of pollution and erosion at beaches around the country, the development of standards will ensure that Saint Lucians and visitors have access to clean and safe beaches for many years to come.


Consultant Steve Wills says the Saint Lucia project will present several benefits for the country as it is in keeping with international trends and requirements.


“Tourist who will be choosing where to go on holiday—and they do have expectations that are fairly high right now—will choose Saint Lucia over other Caribbean island’s because the island has well managed, clean and safe beaches that perhaps some of the other Caribbean destinations don’t have. So it's a way of adding value to the tourism product and adding a packaging tool to promote the island but equally it will raise the standard for locals as well because they know the beaches they visit are clean and well maintained.”


In addition to the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation, the consultants are also working closely with the Ministry of Sustainable Development, and the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards. The ministries will use the outcome of the project to develop a national standard for beaches.


The consultants are expected to complete their project by the end of September this year.


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