Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kim Halbich Elected President of SVGHTA

The SVG Hotel & Tourism Association hosted its Biennial General Meeting, Thursday 22nd March 2012 at Sunset Shores Hotel. Mrs Kim Halbich owner/manager Paradise Beach Hotel & Fantasea Tours , Villa Beach was elected president. Mrs Halbich thanked members for offering her the privilege to be at the helm of the association for the next two years. In her introductory remarks she pointed out that, “her goal, through the support of a very able slate of board members, is to be accessible and available to serve all interest within this sector.”

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Embassy in Venezuela

Establishment Of An Embassy Of St.Vincent And The Grenadines In Caracas Venezuela
Thursday, 06 September 2012 14:41
In keeping with the Ministry’s mandate for the establishment of diplomatic Missions in Strategic Cities around the world, and the continued efforts to intensify its close-knitted bilateral relations with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Government has taken the decision to open an Embassy in Caracas.  This initiative aspires to consolidate the commitment with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, an expression of the Government’s vision towards the integrated development of its people. In 2012, the Ministry completed the necessary measures for the establishment of an Embassy of St.Vincent and the Grenadines in Venezuela. The institution of such Diplomatic Mission and its permanent presence in Venezuela will facilitate the important issue, regarding greater and more visible representation at multilateral forums, in ALBA as well as the newly created CELAC. Further, the critical role of this Mission cannot be overstated, as it is mandated to assist in the dissemination of information, networking between Kingstown and Caracas, allowing St. Vincent and the Grenadines, to better table national positions, on significant matters, and to actively engage in the negotiations process with other Latin American countries of the region.

His Excellency Mr. Andreas Wickham, is the Ambassador designate, and is scheduled to present his Letter of Credence, to the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, His Excellency Hugo Chavez in the near future.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

A Piece of Paradise on Earth – SVG

When I was a kid, they used to show a commercial on TV for Bounty, the coconut filled chocolate bar. The tag line was Een Stukje Paradijs op Aarde: a piece of paradise on earth. It showed a tropical beach with the bluest of waters, softly swaying palm trees and a coconut falling and breaking neatly in half to reveal the white cocos on the inside. It’s what I imagined a tropical paradise would look like, and in the Grenadines we found a real life version of it.
After landing in Kingstown, the capital of St Vincent, the largest island in the group, we spent the Saturday roaming the busy market in the quaint little town. On Sunday, the streets were utterly abandoned, as people take their off-days quite seriously here, and we decided to head out the next day to one of the smaller islands in the Grenadines, which lie further to the south.
A cargo ferry took us for an hour across the choppy channel to island of Bequia. As we entered the bay, we saw dozens of sailing boats anchored in the shallow waters. The main village on the island occuppied a narrow strip along the sea and houses were dotted across the hillsides that rose up from the white stretches of beach.

Since there are no major resorts on the island, the village felt much more alive than any of the other places we’d visited so far, in spite of it being the low season. A string  of small bars and restaurants lined the waterside and a small walkway had been created that led past the lot of them. There was a nice beach at the end of the walkway, and two more a short watertaxi ride away.

We stayed on Bequia for a week. Our routine was pretty simple: Wake up early in the morning for some breakfast and a swim. Have lunch and maybe visit one of the other beaches for more swimming and snorkling. Take a nap and go out in the evening for a cocktail or two and some dinner. Life was pretty hard out the
As the island was so small, you soon got to meet many of the locals and we heard some of the stories. Even this far away from the business world, the impact of the recession was felt. Tourist numbers were down, a large cargo ship which was anchored on an enormous line and drifted across the bay had been put up for sale and left there for a year now, and a gorgeous hotel with many small bungalows was slowly collapsing in on itself as its owner had fled to France after apparently being hounded by the IRS for tax fraud.
Nobody seemed too concerned by it all though. When the coconuts, mangoes and papayas still grow abundantly, and a cooling swim is a few meters away, you tend to worry a little less.