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Tourism officials host tour of tourist sites

Tourism officials host  tour of tourist sites

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by Omesha Spence 30.APR.09

The unique beauty of St. Vincent and the Grenadines was showcased by Tourism officials this week, as they hosted a tour of recreation sites currently under renovation on the Leeward side of the island.{{more}}

Officials, including the Minister of Tourism Glen Beache, members of the Tourism Development Project and those of the National Parks, Rivers and Beaches Authority guided several media houses on tours of five Tourism Sites on Tuesday, 28 April, 2009. Those sites were the Vermont Nature Trail, the Layou Petrogylph Park, the Wallilabou Heritage Park, the Cumberland Beach Recreation Park and the Dark View Falls.

Speaking at the Vermont Nature Trail, Minister Beache said that there have been some constraints which have caused some projects to go beyond their anticipated date of completion. Construction on sites such as the Falls of Baleine, he mentioned, was extended because of the frequent rains that occurred in the area, causing slippery grounds, which were dangerous to workers at the site.

The renovations being done on the sites include the construction of lookout points at the Vermont Nature Trail, improvements to facilities at Dark View Falls, and construction of visiting centres, trails, viewing platforms and parking areas at most of the sites.

The sites will be managed and maintained by community organizations, which are currently undergoing training in areas relating to management and customer service. By involving community groups, the project would create employment and reduce high poverty levels, which is one of its main objectives.

Speaking at the Cumberland Beach Recreational Park, Vice President of the Cumberland Eco Tourism Organisation, Bernard Matthews stated that the group will offer visitors a wonderful experience. “What we are hoping to do is to provide a unique experience to locals and visitors alike,” he said. Yachters would also be able to access the jetty which will be built on the site. Erasto Robertson of the North Leeward Tourism Organisation also mentioned that there will be heightened security for visitors to the beach and that several persons are currently being trained.

Other groups who will manage the various sites are the Buccament Development Organization, which will run the Vermont Nature Trail and the Layou Tourism and Heritage Organization which will operate the Layou Petrogylph Park. The Wallilabou Heritage Park will be operated by the Barrouallie Tourism and Heritage Organization, the Cumberland Beach Recreation Park by the Cumberland Valley Organisation and the Dark View Falls will be operated by the North Leeward Tourist Association.

The Projects, which are funded by the European Union carry values of over EC$100,000 to $700, 000 for the renovations of the sites. The renovations for the Vermont Nature Trail carry the least cost of $135,026.94 while renovations at the Dark View Falls have the highest cost of $782,504.71.

A total of fourteen sites will be renovated during this year. A similar tour of the sites on the Windward side of the island will take place during May 2009.

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