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Saint Lucia has recorded a 12 percent decline in performance in the United Kingdom (UK) market, something that is a major concern for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB).
Director of SLTB Loius Lewis told a media conference on Thursday that this is mainly do with the 11 percent decline in the pounds sterling caused by Brexit.
Lewis admitted that it has been a challenging market for the past several months, but noted that every effort is being made to ensure that there is no further decline in this market.
As such, a special event is being organised in the UK which will be called ‘Saint Lucia Showcase.’
“We will be getting all trade providers who sell Saint Lucia, to be engaged with our local hoteliers and ourselves as the destination promoting agency, for a day and a half promoting Saint Lucia,” he stated.
The event is billed for sometime next week in a major location in the UK.
The SLTB director complained that a lot of people have traveled to the UK to take advantage of the lower pound sterling and UK travellers have done a lot more staycations because of the increase in travel.
He said Saint Lucia is not the only country in the Caribbean that is being affected by this, but explained that the country wants to be the first to maintain a presence and push Saint Lucia as a preferred destination.
“We have every reason to believe that we will be successful. Its not just about offering Saint Lucia as an ordinary vacation option, its presenting a compelling reason to visit the destination, where we showcase what our core and strengths are: soft adventure, romance, cultural history and heritage.”
Despite the decline in the UK market, Saint Lucia has recorded growth in the North American market.
The United States market alone has grown by some 6 percent, while the Canadian market has seen more substantial growth of over 51 percent with the assistance of adjustments made by Air Canada.
“So our North American counterparts are doing well,” Lewis said.
On the other hand, the Caribbean market has seen an overall decline of 2 percent.
“Martinique is our strongest market for arrivals in the Caribbean. Barbados and Trinidad are doing quite well. And we have every confidence that by the end of the year, we will see an overall increase,” he added.
There has also been a 16 percent decline in the cruise sector, with less ships calling into port Castries.
The overall visitors arrival at the end of July, 2016 saw a decline of 0.6 percent.