Saint Lucia’s principal tourism private sector agency, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA), is working to nurture entrepreneurship in Saint Lucia. The Association, which is responsible for facilitating tourism sector development and management, is continuing to dispel the notion that it caters solely to hotels and established companies, by fostering linkages with local entities who possess the potential for strengthening the country’s tourism product and widening the reach of the tourism dollar. A testament to this is the agency’s partnership with young prodigy, Martin Hanna, the mastermind behind the technology-based business “Penny Pinch.”
Martin Hanna is a 19-year-old resident of Rodney Bay, whose goal is to provide Saint Lucians with a host of advanced technology-based solutions through the launching of multiple businesses which target the retail and hospitality industries. Penny Pinch, which is the project currently at the forefront of his vision, is a digital savings platform that allows businesses to market to customers with the use of coupons. With Penny Pinch, customers are able to get discounts island-wide using the Penny Pinch app and website.
With Hanna identifying his ideal target market as the retail and hospitality industries, he consulted the SLHTA on his project; a decision which he expressed as super beneficial and life changing.
“The SLHTA has helped me focus more on the business aspect of my company through their mentorship and expert knowledge. They have provided me with advice and feedback on executing business skills and confirming business deals which has helped develop my business significantly. Our relationship has even transcended that, meaning that we have even gone into a partnership. So it doesn’t just stop at mentoring but also creating strategic alliances where both organizations can benefit each other. The best part about it is they are not just providing me with the expertise and leaving me to swim or sink, but this is going to be a continuous partnership.”
Chief Executive Officer at the SLHTA, Noorani Azeez, affirmed his organization’s enthusiasm for assisting Hanna and being a catalyst in launching the Penny Pinch project. He expressed his Association’s commitment to assisting in the development of Saint Lucian entrepreneurs, their non-accommodation members, and small businesses by providing them with invaluable connections and knowledge from within the larger hospitality sector.
“I was very impressed with Martin from the beginning. I admired the ease at which he was able to articulate his plan and concept and how he envisions his business will help Saint Lucians. His passion and level of sacrifice for his entrepreneurship dream is very admirable at such a tender age.”
“Penny Pinch has emerged as a platform with retail opportunity to link hospitality partners and will bring value to the SLHTA membership. We have offered Martin complimentary membership and have connected him with member companies who can benefit from his technology. At the SLHTA, we are all about networking, trade, and enhancing the value of our tourism product and our credibility as an organization. So with all this in mind, it was an easy decision to partner with Martin and Penny Pinch and to commit to being a driving force behind a possible game changer for our hospitality and retail industries.”
Martin Hanna and the SLHTA are currently in the process of field-testing the ideas behind Penny Pinch and are looking forward to changing the face of retail in Saint Lucia.
Dr. Peter Tarlow who is leading the SaferTourism program by eTN Corporation, is working with Saint Lucia on their tourism product. Dr. Tarlow has been working for over 2 decades with hotels, tourism-oriented cities and countries, and both public and private security officers and police in the field of tourism security. Dr. Tarlow is a world-renowned expert in the field of tourism security and safety. For more information, visit safertourism.com.