December 4, 2009
Union Island begins 2010 tourist season

by Donn DeRiggs 04.DEC.09

The Union Island community is now ready to receive visitors to that part of the state, having concluded one week of activities designed to prepare the entire community for the official start of the 2010 tourism season, which began in November and runs until March.{{more}}

The activity is also designed to leave a lasting positive experience on those who come to enjoy the clean and unspoilt beauty of the Grenadines, with the hope that these visitors will return, bringing along more friends to visit these jewels of the East Caribbean.

The Union Island Tourist Board teamed up with the Solid Waste Management Unit, the Tobago Cays Marine Park office and the Grenadines Sustainable Project and visited all schools in Union Island to continue spreading the message of the sustainable development of the Grenadines, with special emphasis on keeping the environment clean and tidy at all times and for those in the service industry to always make their patrons feel welcome and appreciated. The school children were also involved in an essay competition, with Maliah Adams emerging winner. A logo contest was also held and Adonis Coy used his artistic ability to produce the chosen logo.

On this occasion a new dimension was added to the public awareness activities. This was in the form of a ‘meet and greet’ bevy of friendly young hostesses at the airport who met the visitors, all dressed in national colours, who presented visitors with little gifts, souvenirs and brochures to enhance the visitor experience from arrival to departure.

Other activities staged during the week long programme, included a sunset walk to historical sites in Union Island, a ‘traditional day’ where the public and visitors were treated to a variety of local dishes, including the famous ‘wangoo pois’, as well as a display of traditional implements use to grind corn made in the 50’s and 60’s.

The week long activities climaxed on Sunday, November 29, with a variety of activities including: displays of art, photography, clothing, locally made jewelry and a closing ceremony punctuated with cultural performances by ‘Roots Connection’, the St. Joseph’s Steel orchestra, and the Youth in Action cultural group which really signaled the official start of the 2010 tourist season.

Featuring prominently in the photographic displays were portraits of ‘unsung heroes’ of Union Island, including the late Mary Hutchinson, “Tanty Ma” Wilson (deceased), Celena Clouden (deceased), Benjamin Adams (deceased), Lennox “Bumba” Charles, Augustus “King” Mitchell, and Anella Roache.

The closing ceremony also heard short addresses from Southern Grenadines MP Terrance Ollivierre, Faylene Findlay/Scrubb, representing the Tourism Authority, Maliah Adams who rendered the national Anthem beautifully, and Father Andrew Roache, who delivered the blessings on the proceedings. Also featuring impromptu on the programme were the ‘zulu drummers’ from Carriacou who came to support their soccer team who were playing against a team from Union Island. Music for the closing ceremony was provided by “DJ Zaggs”.

The Union Island Tourist Board is headed by Augustine “Jah Watcher” Douglas, who said that he was pleased with this year’s public awareness program. He went on to say that the high point of the week long activity was the ‘meet & greet’ at the airport where arriving visitors were presented with locally produced confectionery, including tamarind balls, and sugar cakes, and promotional flyers. The arrival area at the airport was also spruced up with posters, ornamental plants and more seats, thereby improving the aesthetics at that port of entry. This is the seventh year that the Union Island Tourist Board is staging ‘tourism week’.