More and more savvy travellers are doing their research and choosing ecologically and socially responsible vacation destinations. The surge of the eco-friendly holiday has made responsible tourism trendy while effecting good in the communities which offer the option. St Lucia in the Caribbean has emerged as one of the more preferred eco-friendly destinations, located as it is in the dense rainforest belt of the Caribbean archipelago and boasting a natural beauty that has garnered the attention of international publications like Condè Nast and several tourism industry award bodies.
St Lucia’s lush vegetation and tropical rain forest, which lends itself to hiking, bird watching, camping, and a whole host of nature-related activities, has long made it a favourite of those who are seeking a quieter, more environmentally friendly tourism experience. That is not to say that there isn’t a fair amount for the thrill seeker as well. St Lucia’s dramatic coast is the playground for sailing, diving, snorkelling, wind and kite surfing, all activities which guarantee maximum recreational enjoyment with minimal environmental impact.
The new environmentally conscious traveller is looking for accommodation that subscribes to an eco-friendly ethos, and St Lucia’s hotels and bed and breakfasts have responded to the demand by examining the sources of energy they employ, sustainability of growth and conscientious waste management practices, and by forging relationships with the communities that host them. This is particularly so in Soufriere, St Lucia’s former capital under the French, and breadbasket of the island.
Situated as it is in some of the most fertile land on the island, Soufriere is leading the way in insisting on low air mile produce. Hotels and restaurants are provisioned with the freshest local ingredients grown right in the heart of this remarkable town. And when a resort or restaurant grows their own produce or sources from local farmers and markets, you are guaranteed a great dining experience.
The town of Soufriere, referred to by American personality Oprah Winfrey as one of the top ten places to see before you die, is uniquely placed in its claim to eco-tourism. The coastal town which rises dramatically into some of the most spectacular mountain scenery on the island, is home to the iconic Pitons, the sulphur springs, several waterfalls and a botanical garden and constitutes an environmentally and culturally protected area as a World Heritage site. The UNESCO appointed epithet assures the visitor that certain standards are being maintained with regard to the actual upkeep of the site, and the efforts at ecological and architectural preservation and conservation.
St Lucia’s picturesque town of Soufriere is increasingly appearing on the radar of ecologically conscious travellers who want an environmentally friendly holiday with their pina coladas. (Both pineapples and coconuts are locally harvested!).