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Thinking of making the move??

Thinking of making the move??

Old Jan 7th 2013, 8:50 pm
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Default Thinking of making the move??

Hi great forum
I have been reading all the posts.

We visited St Lucia this year and decided that this was the island for us. Having said that we have not visited any other islands in this area so have nothing to compare it too (close by in a business sense). It to me seems like it could be a good investment in time.

I am a full time wedding DJ and wedding organiser/MC in the UK so know a lot about the UK wedding industry which i believe I could bring to Saint Lucia to cohabit with hotels or get work directly with UK clients only. On chatting with the previous Tourism Minister he said enterainment was a difficult sector to get in to as you have to be local (which is understandable as local jobs need to be protected). He also said to get in with a hotel would be a good option.

Additional to that - I think there is possibility to offer an all in service from start to finish (or however the client wants it) to plan their wedding (with local contractors). Not wanting to go into too much detail

My girlfriend is also very good with childcare and I get the impression that good childcare is hard to come by in Saint Lucia so thats also an option. i have been self employed all my life so setting up and running a decent business is no issues. Would be great to know about any unforeseen hurdles. I understand it is a bit corrupt which can go both ways IMO. its also who you know, which we have done quite well at so far I am however very much with the ethos of hiring locals (assuming they are reliable and professional) before considering others as i feel that is fair given the current level of unemployment and in general.

It would be great to hear from people who have experience on what I have to do to gain citizenship and whats required to set up and live in Saint Lucia. Also what to look out for and what not to do (Ie not venturing into a Castries Getto) - I would probably live around Rodney Bay on rental basis for six months and then buy somewhere a bit quieter.

Whats the predictions on growth of tourism as I get the impression it did well off the last recession? Also the crime has grown which I assume is due to unemployment and increase in tourism revenue perhaps? Is this set to get worse and affect the industry as a whole?

Mainly - when would the best time to buy property be VS a good regular tourism trade to sustain a decent income?
I suppose the two go hand in hand.

Thanks in advance

Last edited by Toby Oakley; Jan 7th 2013 at 9:02 pm.
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of making the move??

Hi Toby. Not sure on any of the business stuff, but high tourism here is November thru April.
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Old Feb 1st 2013, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Thinking of making the move??

Don't mean to be a Debbie Downer but don't you think the market is already saturated with wedding planners there. I just did a quick google search and came up with quite a few.
When I worked in Cayman, I originally went there as Office Manager for Airtours and one of my duties was wedding co-ordinator. I was the go between for the couples and the on island planner. I know the market was completely sewn up there between the holiday companies and the locals. I went to 2 weddings a week for 7 months!! The Pastor and his wife owned one company and the other company is run by a civil registrar from a very established Cayman family. She officiated at my own wedding two years ago on the beach there.
Residency is much the same all over the Caribbean - work permit or enough money to buy residency through property - approx $500K. Also dont buy property until you get permanent residency, based on a work permit - this would be about 7 years. I would think most people would rent.
Good luck - I was 13 years in the Caribbean - loved it.
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