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Owia vending kiosks handed over to tenants

Owia vending kiosks handed over to tenants

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Five vending kiosks located at the Owia Salt Pond Recreational Park have been rented to individuals and organizations from the North Windward area.{{more}}

The kiosks are being rented for the sale of food and beverage purposes mainly, with the requirement that a significant component of the items sold must be locally produced foods and beverages.

On Monday, October 17, a handing over ceremony was held at the Ministry of Tourism and Industry Conference Room, 2nd Floor, NIS Building, Kingstown. During the ceremony, the leases for the five kiosks were presented to the tenants by Area Representative for North Windward Montgomery Daniel in the presence of Tourism and Industry Minister Saboto Caesar.

Before handing over the leases, Daniel spoke of the importance of the project and the opportunities that have been made available for the residents of his constituency.

“I am indeed now very happy as the representative of the constituency of North Windward that we have reached this critical juncture where we have individuals who will now be given the keys to the vending kiosks…

“I am particularly pleased because we will have a couple more persons being gainfully employed, and they can use that employment to their own benefits and that of their families,” Daniel said.

On handing over the documents, Daniel also implored the tenants to ensure that facilities are properly managed and to always be professional during their day-to-day operations.

Meanwhile, the site’s Manager, Jamie Warrick, said that instalment of the five vending kiosks will serve as a convenience for visitors to the location.

“From time to time I have to be making excuses to visitors, asking them to give me a month or two for the shops to be open, because people coming and asking where can I get a drink or something to eat.

“As the site manager, I am very excited today to know that they are going to be open. So visitors can now come up without food or drinks because it’s now there on the spot,” the site manager said.

One of the tenants, Donovan Samuel, who received on behalf of the Fancy Co-operative, ensured that the facilities will be put to good use.

Samuel also encouraged visitors to visit to site and “partake in some of the most delicious local meals that will be provided.”

“I want people to come up to get your local bam bam, farine, madongo dumplins and the many other local dishes that will be provided,” he added.

The construction of the five vending kiosks was made possible through the Tourism Development Project, which was completed in 2010 at a cost of EC$1.3 million, with funding from the European Union (EU) and counter-part funding from the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Through that project, substantial work was undertaken that saw the development of facilities at the Owia Salt Pond Park and thirteen other recreation sites around the country.

According to Andrew Wilson, Head of the National Parks, during the year 2010, the first year after the project was completed, significant effort on the part of the National Parks Authority was devoted to getting the sites operational and effectively managed.

“This year, a renewed effort has been ongoing to ensure services such as the vending kiosks and the various sites were operational. This will really further enhance the quality of the visitors experience and intended socio-economic benefits of setting up these kiosks,” Wilson explained.

He further noted that Monday’s handing over ceremony was a major step towards enhancing the service element of the Owia Salt Pond and achieving one of the main benefits of the tourism development project site development initiative. He then encouraged the tenants to make best use of the opportunities provided to operate a concession at this site.

“Always strive to be businesslike and professional in your business enterprise as well as maintain and operate the kiosks at high standards,” he said. (AA)

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