Caring Entrepreneurship: A Mannequin For Sustainable Group-based Tourism in St. Lucia

by Kirk Elliott 

ST. LUCIA – Just a few years in the past award successful St Lucia photographer ( ) Kirk Elliott received invited to a rural neighborhood deep within the coronary heart of Saint Lucia to assist it develop a way of excellence in its tourism providing after his St Lucia Picture Tour received its first TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence.  Elliott was blown away by the large potential of their tourism product.  Nonetheless, he couldn’t assist lamenting that residents merely didn’t see its potential and had been thus content material to take care of the established order.

In grappling with the conundrum of how finest to impact optimistic and lasting change Elliott got here to the belief that rural communities are largely ill-equipped to efficiently handle and function tourism enterprises.  This led him to an thought he dubbed “Caring Entrepreneurship”.

Defining Caring Entrepreneurship

Caring Entrepreneurship
Group President addressing rural neighborhood residents in St. Lucia

Within the context of tourism Elliott defines the Caring Entrepreneur as somebody who understands easy methods to efficiently create and handle a tourism enterprise.  The entrepreneur brings this experience to the mutual advantage of each the neighborhood and his/her enterprise.  The caring entrepreneur nurtures and empowers the neighborhood in order that it may finally assume management of the enterprise and develop it from energy to energy.

To achieve success the enterprise association have to be based mostly on mutual respect and belief.  The entrepreneur should really care in regards to the well-being of the neighborhood fairly than solely about his/her backside line.  In flip the neighborhood should acknowledge and respect the worth the caring entrepreneurship brings to the desk. This synergy is the inspiration for an final result by which their mixed efforts yield outcomes that far exceed the sum of the neighborhood’s and the entrepreneur’s particular person efforts.

“I would be the first to let you know that this notion of caring entrepreneurship is a counter-intuitive method to deriving significant neighborhood advantages from tourism.  Nonetheless, from inception it was clear to me that this novel method was an efficient means of nurturing long-term success in community-based sustainable tourism growth” Elliott defined when requested why would anybody make such a sacrifice to assist a neighborhood once they may merely open store and proceed to extract the utmost revenue.

Testing The Idea of Caring Entrepreneurship

Testing The Theory of Caring Entrepreneurship
Cox Journey Adventures Donates Faculty Provides to a Kindergarten Class in Choiseul, Saint Lucia

After a number of false begins Elliott lastly received the chance to check his principle in a unique neighborhood after @CoxTravelAdventures of Danbury Connecticut, USA, outfitted a complete kindergarten class with an assortment of faculty provides in the beginning of the 2022 college yr.

The varsity provides had been donated to the Dugard Mixed Faculty in Choiseul, Saint Lucia. Whereas Dugard is a rural neighborhood deep within the coronary heart of Saint Lucia, by any means the varsity might have missed as a result of its remoteness it greater than made up for with coronary heart and soul.  From the principal and academics, to the scholars, to the varsity’s caretaker employees, all of them function like one large household and their love and caring comes shining by.

“From my preliminary phone dialog with Mr. Elliott I felt like my prayers had been answered, as simply the week earlier than I had prayed that our small rural neighborhood college with restricted sources would by some means achieve larger visibility.  Then seemingly out of the blue there was Mr. Elliott lending a serving to hand and talking of eager to develop a long-term relationship with our faculty”, acknowledged college principal Mrs. Tessa Charles-Calderon when requested about Elliott’s help for the varsity.

Connecting Younger College students With Tourism

Sustainable Community-based Tourism in St. Lucia
Grade 5 College students on the Dugard Mixed Faculty in Choiseul, St Lucia, taking selfie with visiting vacationers

For the reason that publish pandemic return of tourism Elliott has been taking patrons of his Non-public St Lucia Experiences to the Dugard Mixed Faculty the place they get to interact with college students first hand.  Elliott invitations his purchasers to carry over college provides based mostly on the wants of the varsity, and the overall consensus of holiday makers is that their engagement with the scholars has been a spotlight of their Saint Lucia trip.

For the scholars – they’ve come to understand vacationers as folks identical to themselves fairly than as some summary time period they hear about on the radio or see on tv newscasts.

A Burning Customer Need For Genuine Group-based Experiences

At this time, an increasing number of guests are looking for genuine experiences that immerse them within the tradition, historical past, delicacies and lived experiences of locals.  These guests want to know that their cash is making a optimistic impression within the lives of the indigenous peoples of the locations they go to.  In direction of this finish such guests are actively looking for out methods of connecting to and interesting with native communities and shopping for straight from them.

What’s Subsequent For The Dugard Mixed Faculty

College students on the college have mentioned they’d like to have a correct playground at their college and the principal and academics take into account this a superb thought that may train the kids about caring and sharing, amongst different issues.

Elliott has engaged lots of his skilled buddies to lend a serving to hand to the Dugard Mixed Faculty’s Playground Challenge.  From an engineer who has assessed the required earth works, to an architect who has produced architectural renderings for the playground, nearly everybody Elliott has reached out to has lent their help and even gone means past his wildest expectations.

“The overwhelming help of everybody I’ve reached out to has emboldened me to ask each the academics and the scholars to dream large scary desires after which collectively let’s exit and make these desires come by!” Elliott passionately commented when requested his ideas on this playground undertaking and past.

Throughout the 2022/23 college yr Elliott labored with the varsity to finish Part 1 of the Playground Challenge within the type of the portray of academic video games within the schoolyard.  To not let a possibility go to waste, the varsity integrated the video games portray undertaking into college students’ Faculty Based mostly Evaluation (SBA).  This SBA is a sensible exercise college students should efficiently full with a view to graduate and achieve admission to a secondary college.

From the video beneath of the official launch of the video games it’s clear that the scholars’ efforts had been nicely obtained.

Saint Lucia Diaspora Assist

Saint Lucians, each within the diaspora and at house who participated in Elliott’s latest I Am Lucian Webinar Sequence have been tremendous supportive too.  Some have volunteered to fly right down to Saint Lucia to help with the playground building, whereas others are sourcing digital smart-boards for a number of faculties on the island, and entry stage STEM (Science, Expertise, Engineering & Math) coaching for college kids.

“I’m delighted by the outpouring of help and excited in regards to the potentialities that lie forward for neighborhood youth growth and empowerment.  It’s refreshingly heartwarming to see what is feasible by the ability of collective caring and sharing” Elliott commented concerning the Saint Lucian diaspora help.

Creating an Worldwide Benchmark of Sustainable Group-based Tourism in Small Island Growing States (SIDS)

When Elliott launched into this journey of looking for to empower a rural neighborhood little may he have imagined the place the journey would lead.  Within the technique of understanding and overcoming the obstacles he encountered he has come to comprehend that these we take into account rural poor take pleasure in a richness of life and residing that continues to be largely unrecognized.

Nonetheless they’re vulnerable to dropping a lot that they maintain expensive because of the speedy environmental degradation of the world at giant.  For that reason, empowering them by an appreciation of the advantages of sustainable community-based tourism is a strong means of preserving a lot that’s quickly being eroded away.

“I’m tremendous enthusiastic about this concept of Caring Entrepreneurship and my purpose is to see this neighborhood engagement beginning with the Dugard Mixed Faculty undertaking manifest into an Worldwide Benchmark of Sustainable Group-based Tourism in Small Island Growing States” mentioned Elliott when requested what was the general final result he envisions.

…and on the charge at which this intervention is progressing he simply may be on to one thing.


About Kirk Elliott
Kirk Elliott St. Lucia
Kirk Elliott

Kirk Elliott is an award-winning St Lucia Photographer, Sustainable Tourism Advocate and Nationwide Geographic Licensed Educator.

Moreover, Kirk is the Founding father of the St Lucia Picture Tour. He introduces guests to genuine Saint Lucia tradition, historical past and delicacies by the medium of pictures… [email protected] |

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