By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES St Lucia – The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has embarked on developing a national bar crawl, dubbed “Kabawé Krawl”, which is designed to promote the nightlife, rooms, local culinary offerings, adventure, and culture within communities, announced in an official launched.
“Resident and visiting journalists from North America participated in the launching ceremony and are now equipped to tell the story of another adventure option for Saint Lucians, returning nationals, the diaspora, and visitors,” the SLTA continued.
“Kabawé Krawl, partly sponsored by Piton Beer, Bounty Rum, and Lucian Links, was officially launched on October 27, 2022, at Timber Tavern, a bar offering an authentic Saint Lucian experience in the culturally rich community of Anse Ger, Micoud,” the SLTA, explained: “The objective is to provide visitors and nationals alike with a quality experience while allowing the spread of the tourism dollar through the smaller communities and hotspots nationally.”
Commenters on the Government of Saint Lucia, Facebook page wrote:
Magdalene Cooman, advised:
“I have seen Bar Crawls in Canada and the results are usually drunk people, university students especially being sick. This idea is very concerning to me. It may be lucrative for some small businesses but is that our vision for a tourism product in Saint Lucia? Is this a vision for our young people who will be seeing this ugly side of the tourism industry? There is nothing great in alcohol. There are so many great things in Saint Lucia that can be used t promote tourism.
“I don’t support this type of initiative. It makes my skin crawl to think that is where we are heading to. Not every idea from overseas needs to be imported to a small island like Saint Lucia. Some may see alcohol as part of our cultural heritage but it is destructive in so many ways. Please protect the little sanity that’s left in us.”
The former minister in the office of the prime minister with responsibility for tourism, information and broadcasting, Dominic Fedee, promoting the island’s Food and Rum Festival, said:
“Historically, we are a rum-drinking people.” “We really are a rum-producing people and historically we really are a rum-drinking people.
“And rum is a very proud and main part of our heritage, and this festival will better refine and leverage the tremendous asset that exists in culture, in food and in showcasing to the world our heritage,” ~ Published February 5, 2018.
Juliana Foster, wrote:
“I must say, I like this initiative. But the word KRAWL. I ain’t feeling it. No cultural connection or vibe… Nothing. By de Kabawe would probably fly…”
Jean Joseph, said:
“I really think our foods, culture, sights, history and people should be showcased and put on blast for tourists. I don’t know how encouraging rum drinking would promote our island. A few dollars in the pockets of the bar owners involved?”
Wilson Jn Baptiste, observed:
“The increased visibility of the Kabawes through this concept is geared towards increasing the consumption of a product. This concept should not be allowed by the government and if it has to exist it should be done by the rum producers. This is glorifying alcohol consumption. There are more cultural and heritage products that should be branded to increase income for the lower strata of society. Good try but misguided.”
Working through destination management companies, the SLTA said in a release published Wednesday:
“It will seek to implement excursions designed for individuals or groups of adults who love rums, food, culture, and local adventure, enjoying the outdoors as they traverse the beautiful scenery along the way to each bar stop.
“Through a responsible vetting process, the SLTA works with technical teams from the ministry of tourism and the ministry of health to ensure participating bars are compliant with operational and health standards.”
Hopefully, this addresses Simeon Christophe, concerns:
“Great idea, but let’s hope there was consultation and strategy from law enforcement to address crime at the community level if we will promote the above within the communities across the island.”