The Community Tourism Agency Launches Garmaii

The Community Tourism Agency (CTA) marked another milestone in the local tourism sector with the grand opening of a new gift shop and diner, Garmaii, in Soufriere. The establishment, promising an authentic Saint Lucian experience for both locals and international visitors, is the latest success story in the CTA’s ongoing support of community-based tourism businesses.

Garmaii, a venture by the entrepreneurial duo Mr. and Mrs. Alexander, showcases local talent and products from Soufriere and the wider Saint Lucian community. The couple expressed gratitude for the CTA’s assistance, emphasizing their commitment to delivering exceptional service. Mrs. Maylisa Alexander, co-owner of Garmaii, stated “For those who have the idea but lack the finances, the CTA is there to push forward and manifest that dream.” She further expressed, “Our diner offers an intimate, friendly, and family environment, with exceptional service and a variety of local products, including authentic facial scrubs and souvenirs.”

Dahlia Guard, Chief Executive Officer of the CTA, highlighted the agency’s comprehensive support system. “We provide pre-assistance, middle assistance, and post-opening support. We will continue to help Mrs. Alexander with her marketing and sales strategy to ensure sustainability. Understanding tourism, community tourism, and financial management are crucial for long-term success,” Guard noted.

Minister of Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs and Parliamentary Representative for Soufriere-Fond St. Jacques, Honorable Emma Hippolyte, reiterated the government’s commitment to prioritizing Saint Lucians in the tourism sector. “We promised to put Saint Lucia first, and we have created an ecosystem that brings Saint Lucians into the ownership of tourism. Our goal is to ensure the average Saint Lucian has a stake in our tourism product,” she stated.

The opening of Garmaii stands as yet another testament to the CTA’s dedication to fostering sustainable community tourism. The agency continues to support local entrepreneurs, helping them bring their visions to life and contributing to the vibrant tourism landscape of Saint Lucia.

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