Local Government Minister Senator Fortuna Belrose told HTS News4orce attendance at the inaugural Soleil Jazz event exceeded expectations.
“…to date we have not been disappointed with what we have seen. I think it has met the expectations that we had. We now need to continue to strengthen and tie up in a number of areas and ensure that next year we can deliver an even better and greater event.”
While the official Soleil Jazz attendance numbers are still being crunched, sources have indicated a notable decline in air and sea arrivals for the same period in 2016. The turnout for Soleil Jazz at the Pigeon Island National Landmark was fewer than previous years. The Local Government Minister observed, initial confusion from the cancellation of the former Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival contributed to the drop in tourist arrivals.
“…word of mouth is the way news really go around and Saint Lucians of course are the ones to promote the Jazz Festival. And, if we Saint Lucians say there is no jazz then people across the globe will believe there is no jazz and I think that was part of the problem…If Saint Lucians were saying there was jazz but in a different format I think the world would not have responded in the way that they did… ”
A former executive on the defunct Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Thaddeus Antoine noted the low turnout is linked to ‘confusion in the market’ about the jazz festival.
“…at one time they said jazz festival was off and then it was back on…they always say bad news goes around faster than good news so when the good news came that it was on and they were tweaking it – that never got around.”