Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony says he is heartened by recent reports from the Saint Lucia Tourist Board which highlights increases in major source markets for the first half of 2012.
Reacting to the August 10, 2012 announcement by officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Dr. Anthony said, “The increase in visitor arrivals is a sign of an industry and economy that is slowly recovering. It is an indicator that the strategies for marketing our destination are bringing a measure of positive returns. Despite the challenges, we have managed a 6.3% increase in stay over arrivals from the United Kingdom, a performance which can be markedly improved if we are successful in having the Air Passenger Duty reviewed.”
According to the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Canada recorded the highest increase of 10%, while the Caribbean market showed a slight increase of 1.5% over the same period last year, mainly due to additional airlift and business meetings being held in Saint Lucia. Dr. Anthony said that the contribution of business meetings to the local economy cannot be overlooked.
“While delegates would be here on matters of governance, more often than not they would get an opportunity to be introduced to our cuisine, culture and other things that make us unique as a place to do business and a holiday destination. Very often, that signifies the beginning of a relationship with Saint Lucia.”
Dr. Anthony says he is hopeful that the second half of the year will reflect growth in the United States market, Saint Lucia’s largest, which suffered a 7% decline from the same period last year.
The Prime Minister congratulates all who continue to work tirelessly to improve Saint Lucia’s Tourism product and produce positive results in the industry.