April 22, 2020
With much of the world feeling the impact of COVID-19, we caught up with our advisory clients in Mustique to see how they are operating at this time.
Considerate Group (CG): How has Mustique been impacted by COVID-19?
Mustique (M): In accordance with the guidelines from Government of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, we’re closely following along with what’s been happening within the country. Since the outbreak, we’ve closed our doors to visitors to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community and our guests. We’re taking this time during global travel restrictions to reset and reevaluate our priorities and determine how best to improve our services and enhance experiences when we open our doors again.
CG: How have staff been engaged since the resort has been closed?
M: We’ve reduced our on island staff to essential workers which is approximately 1/3 of our workforce. A significant number of these continue to work on our environmental projects such as our watersports and grounds teams. Everyone else has returned to their homes on St. Vincent to be with their families while being retained by the Mustique Company with 80% of their salaries.
CG: What are your sustainability priorities to address while the island is closed to guests?
M: We’re taking this time to reevaluate our environmental commitments and focus on a few of our projects, namely coral restoration and our permaculture garden. We’re also ensuring that there’s good communication to our island stakeholders about what we’re working on.
CG: Have you noticed any positive environmental impact since the resort closure?
M: With the island being closed, there has been a decrease in consumption of resources- we’re not operating commercial flights which means less fuel usage and we’re using less electricity. We’re also decreasing our carbon footprint by increasing local food purchases from mainland St. Vincent. Overall, the island is quieter and more people are spending their days outside- either on walking trails or snorkelling alongside resident sea turtles and among our coral out plants.
CG: Is this downtime allowing you to catch up with issues that have been piling up on your ‘desk’ in normal times and if yes, what are they?
M: Yes, but not on my ‘desk’- things that have been piling up outside! The watersports team is busy maintaining the coral project, from making sure the nursery is kept clean of algae and predators to out planting corals back onto the island’s surrounding reefs. You can read more about that here. The grounds team is in the process of revamping our permaculture garden by layering mulch, building new beds and setting seeds to be planted at the start of our rainy season.
CG: What will be your priorities when the resort re-opens? Do you expect to see long lasting changes?
M: When the island reopens, we expect a slower pace of life with lots of changes. We plan on focusing more on simple luxury and more emphasis on showcasing how special our natural environment is here. We anticipate an increase in the use of resources as we welcome guests, so we plan to combat this with a carbon offset program. This will continue our commitment to conserving our natural resources as best as we can for future generations.