By Admin. Updated 2:32 p.m., Monday, July 19, 2021, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
Final-year students in the Associate Degree in Tourism Studies at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College have proposed a major rural tourism project for Richmond.
The proposed project – The Le Volcan Park is for the development of a rural tourism park in the rural community of Richmond on the northwestern side of mainland St. Vincent.
According to the students, extensive information about La Soufrière eruptions and how they have shaped St. Vincent will be found. In addition, handmade artifacts will be found, a luxurious sulfur spa will be accessed, and a local restaurant and bar, among other amenities, can be patronized.
The students, specifically of the college’s Division of Technical and Vocational Education proposed the project at their heritage tourism event on Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Hospitality Institute at Diamond.
The project proposal was made in the presence of Opposition Leader, Dr. Godwin Friday, Minister of Education, Mr. Curtis King, and other members of Parliament as part of the students’ final year requirements.
The students’ proposal seeks to establish a stronger rural tourism presence in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
One of the presenters of the project, Shanadia Sylvester said:
“Tourism has been a tool for economic diversification and with rural tourism, that can stop a lot of economic leakages”.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a rise in interest from tourists looking for new experiences,” she added.
She said tourists are moving from mass tourism to rural tourism and solo travel.
The students said rural tourism projects such as the proposed Le Volcan park can provide opportunities for rural youth who are particularly at risk, economically, and can help other sectors in terms of employment, income, and opportunities.
Meanwhile, another student presenter said the materials for the proposed park are mainly natural eco-friendly materials such as bamboo.
Though the idea of the proposed Le Volcan park is for the rural community of Richmond, on the brink of the red zone, near the La Soufrière volcano, the students said that the concept can be replicated and implemented in different rural communities throughout the country.
The idea for the proposed park at Richmond was that of Mr. Nyron Collis, who is also a final-year tourism student.
The Dean of the Division of Technical and Vocational Education, Mr. Osbourne Bowens, and the Head of the Tourism Department, Ms. Azuba Adams commended the students on their proposal.
Commendations also came from Opposition Leader Dr. Godwin Friday, Education Minister, Mr. Curtis King, and Member of Parliament for East Kingstown, Mr. Fitzgerald Bramble, who encouraged the students to continue to think critically about tourism and to explore possibilities in moving their proposals forward.