Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
Tourist Wardens at Soufriere in St Lucia
The Soufriere area in St Lucia has a large number of tourist attraction. The Sulphur Springs, the historic town of Soufriere itself, the mineral baths and botanic garden, old sugar mills, old colonial estate houses, and the Pitons themselves are considered to be among the top tourist attractions and all provide an exceptional experience.
Nevertheless, the town can be an ugly place. Many complain of a lack of security and tourists are often harassed by street vendors, taxi drivers and beggars.
Yet it is easy to see why some folk behave in such a way.
The residents of Soufriere, specifically those involved in the tourism trade, have over time been vociferous that the Soufriere area has prospered little from tourism, and that minimal tourist dollars are left behind. Soufriere residents complain that the area has a poor road network and receives inadequate marketing in the Castries and Cap Estate areas.
But that does not excuse the fact that people like us do not like visiting the town and fearing for the safety of our hire car or worse.
Now much to our delight someone is taking some initiative and 12 local people have been recruited to act as Tourist Wardens. Wearing a smart and easily identifiable uniform there job is to greet a tourist and find out what they want or need and direct them accordingly. We photographed Enda Norbal and Keziah Alcindor members of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation.
Their presence seems to deter those who seek to hassle the visitor and is as such very much welcomed by us at least.