(PRESS RELEASE) — The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority has successfully hosted its eighth annual Showcase, 10th-14th September 2018 for more than 150 UK travel industry specialists.
To introduce the programme, the Minister for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting announced the launch of a new National Tourism Advisory Committee, with the aim of creating a common platform for best practice in sustainable tourism for the island.
Saint Lucia is only the second island in the Caribbean region to initiate such a forum with a wide range of 17 stakeholders drawn from private and public sectors such as the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and the Saint Lucia Sea, Air and Port Authority (SLASPA).
Hon. Mr. Dominic Fedee said: “We have brought together the key organisations and departments who contribute to the success of our tourism industry in Saint Lucia. Together, our vision is to create a sustainable and competitive future for our tourism, in a structured manner by reviewing its effectiveness with visitors and impact on our local communities.”
Throughout Saint Lucia Showcase, a series of networking meetings and events took place covering Saint Lucia news, tourism developments and new information on accommodation and excursions. In attendance was a senior delegation from the island of the Minister for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Hon. Mr. Dominic Fedee; the new chairman of the SLTA Board Nicholas John and SLTA’s Chief Marketing Officer and Acting Chief Executive Tiffany Howard. Key partners of the SLTA also took part including hotel owners and their UK representatives, airlines and Destination Marketing Companies (DMCs) swapping ideas and updates with travel agents and tour operators.
Tiffany Howard, Acting Chief Executive for the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority said; “We are in a very fortunate position as tourism arrivals from the UK are strong. But we can’t just sit and hope that this continues. We want to thank all our partners and the UK trade for their support and we look forward to continuing to work closely with them to showcase and sell the amazing things you can experience on a holiday in Saint Lucia.”
This year’s Showcase culminated in the 25th Gala Awards dinner at the De Vere Wotton House in Surrey, hosted by TV presenter and Saint Lucian Brit, Angelica Bell. Industry and diaspora guests were in attendance.
The destination has seen a healthy rise in year-to-date arrivals of 10.6% globally (June 2018). Saint Lucia Soleil, the revamped festival series has enjoyed renewed popularity drawing visitors in. The island now offers five events including Food and Rum; Saint Lucia Jazz; Carnival, Roots and Soul and Creole Heritage month.
Most recently the inaugural Mercury Fest is being celebrated as a huge success. Preliminary figures indicate that the event welcomed, at least, 2,288 foreign nationals from Martinique, France, the United States, Trinidad, Dominica, Guadeloupe, the UK, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, with the highest numbers coming from Martinique. Dominica, France and Guadeloupe also had significant representation at the beach event.
SAINT LUCIA AWARDS 2018
Runners Up & Winners
1. Best Digital Representation of Saint Lucia in 2017
Runner up: British Airways
2. Product Manager of the Year 2017
Runner Up: Josh Peacock, Best at Travel
Winner: Steve Gilchrist, Virgin Holidays
3. Best Use of Social Media for Saint Lucia 2017
Runner Up: Kuoni
Winner: Blue Bay Travel
4. Online Travel Agent with Best Growth to Saint Lucia in 2017
Runner Up: Booking.com
5. Best Growth in Weddings & Honeymoons to Saint Lucia in 2017
Runner Up: Virgin Holidays
Winner: Tropical Sky
6. Luxury Tour Operator with the Best Growth to Saint Lucia in 2017
Runner Up: Kuoni
7. Best Growth for Small Hotels in Saint Lucia in 2017
Runner Up: Hotels of the Caribbean
8. Best Producing Specialist Tour Operator in 2017
Runner Up: Caribtours
Winner: Caribbean Classics
9. Best Hotel Partnership in 2017
Runner Up: Sunswept Resorts
Winner: Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort
10. Best Growth to Saint Lucia in 2017
Runner Up: DNATA
Winner: Virgin Holidays
11. Special Recognition Award for Contribution to Destination
Winner: British Airways
12. Best Media Feature
Winner: Oliver Smith, The Daily Telegraph
13. Best Social Media Content
Winner: Twins that Travel (Laura and Claire Jopson)