Ministry predicts increase in tourist arrivals, to focus on Brazil/Latin American markets

Ministry predicts increase in tourist arrivals, to focus on Brazil/Latin American markets
Countries worldwide are investing in the emerging South American market, in particular Brazil, to boost tourism arrivals.
Countries worldwide are investing marketing efforts in the emerging South American market, in particular Brazil, to boost tourism arrivals.

Tourism Minister Lorne Theophilus is hopeful that Saint Lucia will increase its tourist arrivals by at least three to five percent during the course of this year.

Part of that increase, according to him, is hoped to be from the Brazilian and Latin American markets.

Speaking in parliament recently, Theophilus said based on a mandate given to his ministry during last year’s budget, his ministry embarked on a few ventures aimed at getting into that market.

So far, he said the Saint Lucia Tourist Board attended a Latin American World Travel Market Forum (in April 2013) in order to set up a framework with travel industry partners in that region and to introduce Saint Lucia as a destination.

He said through this, St. Lucia was able to be showcased and also do a preliminary evaluation on the feedback it received on the state of the travel industry in Brazil and Latin America.

“We held meetings as well with local industry partners to present the potential benefits of Brazil and exactly how we will approach that market so that there is a consultative effort…Along with our various industry partners we discussed the various strategies so that we can find those strategies and adopt one which we believe is beneficial to the sector as a whole,” he said.

“… We held key meetings with airlines that can provide connectivity from key Brazilian cities to the destination and we in fact have contacted a representative within that market place to begin to generate the awareness of St. Lucia and to drive that business awareness into St. Lucia,” he added.

The tourism minister said this approach is preferred over the method previously used whereby a tourism minister would have gone to Brazil, given “a huge minimum revenue guarantee”, when no demand for the destination had been built [and] no interest in the destination…”

“We’re going the other way. What we’re doing is we’re sensitising that market- ensuring that there is sufficient demand so that when the decision is made to enter the Brazilian market it is after we are sure that we can drive certain demands to the airline that we wish to engage in creating connectivity between the Brazil and Latin American markets,” he explained.

Theophilus took the opportunity to note that a special media launch was held in Brazil about a week ago to officially launch the destination to that country.

“From all accounts, that event went exceptionally well,” he said.

The minister said apart from the Brazil/Latin American market, the SLTB also plans to place some more focus on the United Kingdom and Canada.

Another path which his ministry seeks to take is to partner with is the sports ministry to advance sports tourism and make the most of the recently passed Tourism Incentives Bill.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. THE hub in THE Americas is Panama. Just let Liat fligh
    there. Brazil? That country has more beautiful beaches than St. Lucia. Waste of time and money of THE minister of tourism.

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  2. Since when St. Lucia interested in the Brazil market? Was not Barbados marketed in Brazil long time ago with a direct flight from Sao Paulo. As usual St. Lucia follows Barbados' lead. How many years did the BIM minister say St. Lucia was behind?

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    • And for decades, we've been importing more about 3 billion worth of goods (annually) from Brazil, we've been their largest market in the Caribbean. So why not import their tourists too?

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  3. A useful initiative this is. However, Brazil as a BRIC emerging economy is facing some challenges as economic activity tilts back to the US because of it recent exploration of natural gas an energy prices. This is causing a fall in unit cost prices for the production of quite a decent range of goods and services. Of course this in turn causes a shift in the investment and wealth creation opportunities back to the US.

    A slow-down, even a slight decline in economic growth must be expected with implications for leisure travel from Brazil, albeit the name recognition associated with tourism destination credentials. Business travel would be predicated on we, in Saint Lucia having the right investment climate. Looking our recent budget and the firm retention of our economic cost structure, this does not inspire too much optimism in this direction.

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