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Raffles opens in Canouan

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The Raffles Resort Canouan Island in the Grenadines officially opened its doors last week Thursday, November 18, with a series of events that included sunrise kayaking and boat trips to the Tobago Cays.

During a press conference held last Wednesday at the Cruise Ship and Ferry Berth, Minister of Tourism and Culture Rene Baptiste said a total of 151 persons attended the opening ceremony that stretched over a period of three days. {{more}}The attendees were mainly airline representatives, travel agents, travel consultants and tour operators. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves and his wife Eloise were the guests of honour. They were accompanied by leader of the opposition Arnhim Eustace and the New Democratic Party’s representative for the Southern Grenadines Terrence Ollivierre. A number of local ambassadors were also in attendance.

Baptiste said that a number of high level persons in the international hotel industry were invited to the opening, among them, Vice Chairman of Forbes, Christopher Forbes and Bill Fischer (handles travel for the internationally rich and famous).

Baptiste revealed that the ribbon cutting on November 20 was done by the main financier behind the tourism developments on Canouan, Antonio Saladino, Forbes and Dr. Gonsalves. According to Baptiste, discussions on further hotel development were also held.

A number of Vincentians performed at the opening, these included the 2004 national dance champions La Gracia and calypsonian Carlton CP Hall who performed “Come to St. Vincent” and a song on Christmas. Baptiste said that during the opening, the ministry tried very hard to sell Blues Fest 2005 and the Nine Mornings Festival to foreign travel agents.

The Canouan Resort is the biggest in SVG. It is set on 300 acres of a 1,200 acre private estate featuring three secluded white sand beaches, surrounded by a large coral reef. It has 156 single and double-storey luxury villas.

The resort also features an exclusive Villa Monte Carlo, a European-style casino – Trump Club Privee and a ballroom for private functions.

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