07 Sep 2018
SLTA officials and MICE buyers

Fourteen M.I.C.E buyers from the US are on the island for a four-day trip visiting hotels and attractions on behalf of their clients.

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is hosting the Meetings Incentive and Corporate Events (MICE) group for the first familiarization trip of its kind here, from September 6th – 10th, 2018.

In exploring the niche, the SLTA contracted Connect, an Atlanta based company, to help select the buyers who matched the SLTA’s criteria. Each buyer represents a unique group seeking a destination with venues matching their client’s interests for 2019 and 2020.

A networking breakfast at Harbor Club on Friday with local Destination Management Companies and staff of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, got the event off to a grand start.

SLTA Director of Marketing for the USA, Mrs. Kelly Fontenelle-Clarke said, “This is important to us especially with increased nonstop flights to Saint Lucia. All of the buyers are coming to Saint Lucia for the very first time and it is phenomenal for us to bring in those buyers to meet with our local Destination Management Companies and to experience, firsthand, what the destination has to offer.”

The intention is for the buyers to organize more than one group trip per year, which will demand accommodation for upwards of 30 people for each event. Some of the companies represented are Helmsbriscoe, Conference Direct and Global Cynergies. These corporate trips are typically used to encourage groups to achieve a specific business goal or, as incentives, to recognize the individuals who achieved specified goals within their organisation.

Speaking on the occasion of the first MICE program, Acting CEO and Chief Marketing Officer at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Mrs. Tiffany Howard said “Not only do we get this amazing group of people to come here but our DMC’s are making sure that they have an enjoyable experience while here. They are getting the ‘best of the best’ and the buyers selected represent the top companies and events that we can have in Saint Lucia from the USA. We are also very aware that the groups those buyers can influence range in size from 70-200 rooms and are all open to property buyouts.”

The group is being hosted at the Harbor Club, Curio Collection by Hilton and Marigot Bay Resort and Marina. The SLTA has planned a packed schedule for the MICE group, so they can visit some properties and experience a few of the fun things to do on the island.