Thursday, December 22, 2011

Digital Detox in SVG

New research shows that nearly half of us feel so tied down by technology we can’t let an email or text pass us by, and have to respond to it. The constant need to keep checking messages and to monitor different websites, can lead you to distraction. It’s hard to just sit and focus on one thing. Our productiveness and stress levels naturally are affected. Problems in relationships also occur when the person you are with is left feeling like they don't have your full attention. Allowing yourself to switch off will help to calm your mind and to fully enjoy the present moment you are in.

In January the first branded ‘digital detox’ holiday comes to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). Guests will be asked to ‘de-tech’ and hand over their mobile phones and gadgets surrendering themselves to fully enjoying their technology free break. SVGTA are also bringing some key media across to experience a de-tech holiday for themselves, they will have life coaching each day to help them switch off and contemplate life, enjoy peaceful meditation walks through botanical gardens, sail around the deserted Tobago Cays and simply have time to relax. Stay tuned for the coverage that will follow.

The life coach, Louise Gillespie-Smith director of Create Yourself, will accompany the trip and Louise’s top tips to get some control back in your life, rather than letting technology control you, following are:

1) Plan in your time to switch off, put it in your diary to make sure it happens. 5-7 days is ideal to really experience a digital detox but if that simply isn’t possible try just switching off for one day a week or after 6pm in the evening. Simply switching off an hour before bedtime will help you to have a more restful sleep.

2) Prepare before switching off. This will ensure you have peace of mind whilst out of contact. Set people's expectations to let them know you are going to be out of contact. Set record for anything in TV you don’t want to miss.

3) Use your out of office on your emails and record a voicemail. Even if it’s just for the evening, it will help to give you peace of mind that if someone tries to get in touch they will know you can’t respond immediately.

4) If you are switching off for a few days and don’t like the thought of being out of touch from loved ones, write them a letter! Letter writing is rare these days but so romantic. Everyone loves to receive a letter in the post.

5) Allow yourself to fully be in the present moment. Our craving for checking our emails, social media, text messages, watching TV and so on often prevents us from fully appreciating what is around us right now in the present moment. Our minds get caught up thinking about what may or may not happen in the future, what everyone else is up to and what are we missing out on. During your digital detox take some time to bring your mind into the present moment, to be mindful. Take some long slow deep breathes, at least 8 times, then just look around you; what do you see? hear? feel? smell? Take it all in slowly, appreciating everything around you and experience all of your senses.

6) If you are someone who gets bored easily and often regularly uses technology to alleviate this then on the first day of your digital detox write a list of 50 things that make you smile, things that lift your spirits, maybe things you used to love to do when you were younger but have not done in years. Then plan to do some of them during your detox, maybe one a day or as many as you need to keep you distracted and not wanting to switch back on. The act of planning things that make you smile provides a really uplifting experience, it's great for the soul and will be really enjoyable.

7) Whilst you are switched off it's a great time to contemplate your life, how you feel it is going and what you have learnt. Take a note book and pen and work through the following questions:
In the past year....
• What have I achieved?
• What have I learnt?
• What do I want to stop doing?
• What do I want to continue doing?
• What would I love to create in my life?
• What do I need to do to make that happen and when am I going to do it?

Make 2012 the year you took control over technology and allowed yourself the freedom to switch off!

Plus make 2012 the year you come to SVG to de-tech and embrace a digital detox!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tweet a Taxi!

In an exciting new move, we have branded the iconic London taxi with St Vincent and the Grenadines imagery. There are several making their way around the big city and if you spot one, then take a picture, upload it to Twitter and you could be in with a chance of winning a bottle of sunset rum!

Simply follow us at @discoverSVG, use the hashtag #SVGtaxi and upload your picture and each week throughout October, we'll announce a winner.

Official Rules

A. To enter the competition you must be 18 years old or over at the time of
entry and from the UK.

B. The competition can only be entered by logging into your Twitter account and
uploading your photo with the hashtag #SVGtaxi. Entries by other means will not be

C. The winners will be selected by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority
at random from all eligible entries received via Twitter.

D. There are four bottles of Sunset Rum to be won.

E. Each winner will receive one bottle of Sunset Rum.

F. The winners agree that their names may be used in all required publicity material.

G. The closing date for entry is 31 October 2011.

H. Entrants are required to 'follow' Discover St. Vincent and the Grenadines Twitter

I. No purchase necessary.

J. Excludes any employees of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority their
families or anyone connected with the administration of the competition.

K. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority reserves the right to exclude
entrants and withhold the prize for violating any of these terms and conditions.

L. No cash or other alternative is available and the prize cannot be transferred.

M. No correspondence will be entered into.

N. By entering the competition, participants will be deemed to have accepted and be
bound by these terms and conditions.

O. The winner will be notified by email. The winner must confirm acceptance of the
prize via return email within 28 days. If no reply is received an alternative winner
will be selected.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Battowia – “Bird Island”

by Jacqui English, E-Commerce Officer, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority

Upon approaching the wildlife reserve uninhabited island of Battowia, I keenly scanned our surroundings. Battowia is one of the largest sea bird colonies in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. As Battowia’s rocky terrain emerged ahead, curious boobies swooped to greet us.

While sailing from St. Vincent to Battowia, we were entertained by seagulls and boobies – skilfully gliding overhead and diving into the sea. The ocean’s calmness allowed the boat to draw near to Battowia, which presented us with an amazing view of its birds.

Our marine tour of this serene natural landscape was vividly enhanced by the spectacular sounds and sights of birds, as they chirped and soared around the island. Battowia’s sea bird species include the frigate bird, brown pelican, brown noddy, sooty tern, in addition to land birds as, the tropical mockingbird, eared dove, and the antillean crested humming bird.

I interestingly observed birds that were intriguingly perched on Battowia’s landscape, some camouflaged with their habitat, and only slight movements revealed their presence. A few goats were also spotted, nimbly climbing the cliffy hillside.
Altogether too soon, the boat pulled away from the island, and I felt a longing to be as free as the birds on Battowia, to soar among the 32 islands and cays of St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Fruitful Agro-Tourism Site Visit

by Jacqui English, E-Commerce Officer, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority

As I got off the bus at the Orange Hill Taiwanese Farm, I was captivated by the panoramic mountain and ocean scenery, and enjoyed a charming view of a traditional great house. The remarkable farm occupies 18 acres of the Orange Hill Estate, which is located at the northern tip of St. Vincent.

This agro-tourism site boasts agro-processing and plant-tissue culture laboratories, operated by the Taiwan Technical Mission, and the St. Vincent & the Grenadines’ Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Rural Development.

Our guided tour of greenhouses, and fruit and vegetable orchards which displayed attractive signage, was very informative as friendly workers paused in their duties, to participate in knowledgeable discussions on products and services. Agricultural services offered by the farm include, a horticulture crop development project, vegetable extension, along with technical assistance and farm management training for local farmers.
As our tour continued we stepped into an amazing orchid greenhouse whose atmosphere was filled with a lovely fragrance; where spectacular orchids bloomed in various shapes, colors and sizes.
Ground spices, fruit juices, ice cream, chips, and dried fruit such as jujube and carambola (five finger), have been produced by the farm for the domestic market.

Our visit at the Orange Hill Taiwanese Farm, ended with a fruitful reward, as strolling through the orchards, we took pleasure in picking and eating juicy fruits, before setting out for the hour’s ride to Kingstown.

Friday, January 7, 2011

An Enchanting Dinner

by Jacqui English, E-Commerce Officer, St. Vincent & the Grenadines Tourism Authority

The year 2011 was greeted with a dinner at Young Island Resort – a privately owned 35 acre enchanted island, with 29 charming cottages. It is the closest inhabited island to St. Vincent, and it’s accessible only by sea.

As guests boarded the ferry, moored alongside Villa’s dock for the 5-minute ride to the venue, I was delighted by experiencing ‘getting to dinner by ferry’. There appeared to be no race against time, as the ferry slowly crossed the 200-yard distance to Young Island.

The island’s festive lights seemed to beckon from a fairy tale, casting its magical wand into the night upon the arriving passengers. As we drew closer, guest cottages peeked amiably at us through the darkness from the forested landscape.

Upon docking at Young Island, which is also a national wildlife reserve, a short walk along the alluring beach front, and through tropical flora, led us to the Captain Bligh Lounge and Bar, where we enjoyed cocktail drinks along with soothing music.

We were then escorted to an indoor dining room - elegantly draped in white. I stood enthralled for a moment, while pondering on my seating options.

An array of splendid cuisine adorned the buffet table, such as roasted striploin beef with red wine and berry sauce, baked chicken breast with golden-apple reduction, potato, corn and sweet pepper salad, pumpkin casserole and Christmas cake.

Our cheerful chatter was accompanied by a cool breeze from the ocean, drifting through the open window. I then realized that my favorite selections from my platter, were the delectable devilled eggs, conch fritters, coconut bread, grilled fillet fish with sweet pepper and chili sauce, salted ham, stewed green peas and cheesecake.

Still there was more to come, as this enchanting dinner concluded with a pleasant surprise. Then, all too soon, the evening culminated with the Young Island’s ferry ride to St. Vincent, without which, the event would be incomplete.