St. Lucia records increase in tourist arrivals

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St. Lucia records increase in tourist arrivals
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis

As St. Lucia continues to market itself in different parts of the world, there has been a slight increase in tourist arrival to the island.

Director of Tourism Louis Lewis said statistics at the end of August 2014 shows that there has been a 6.6 per cent increase in tourist arrivals here. This is against a 4 per cent increase for 2013, despite the challenges facing the global tourism industry.

Lewis made this disclosure on the “In Touch” TV programme on Monday with Press Secretary Jadia Jn Pierre-Emannuel. He said the performance is satisfactory, especially since the island is competing with countries with much larger budgets and there are no concessions and other incentives.

The director of tourism said the St. Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) has been working feverishly to ensure that the tourism market remains stable and continues to record progress. As such, the SLTB has been working to facilitate travel for visitors from different residences, in different parts of the world. The aim is not only to target traditional markets, but new and emerging ones.

Lewis also revealed that the island is looking to attract tourists from South America, particularly Brazil. Meetings between officials there and the SLTB have commenced, but the details of the arrangements are still being discussed. St. Lucia, he said, is taking a very careful approach and is looking closely at how other Caribbean countries that get Brazilian tourists are doing.

While underscoring the importance of regional tourism, Lewis stated that the cost of inter-regional travel is still high which is a major setback for many islands. The tourism director explained that a consumer, who may want to travel to a sister Caribbean island, could pay the same cost for travel to Miami or New York. As a result, travelers would prefer to travel to the United States.

He said while there has been heavy focus on the European market, there are good enough reasons for that. Lewis explained that this market is more organised than those in the United States and Canada, which allows greater details of tourist arrivals and spending in the island. However, despite this, the SLTB, he explained, has been working to get more tourists from North America to visit.

The island has been able to convince Jet Blue to add a direct flight from Boston to St. Lucia. Delta will also add a direct flight from New York to St. Lucia and United Airlines will now move from having one flight to three flights weekly to St. Lucia. Air Canada will also have direct flights from Toronto and Montreal to the island. The SLTB is trying to secure flights from Manchester, as well.

Meanwhile, Lewis said St. Lucia has adopted a new approach to having dialogue with tourism partners and as such have abandoned the expensive venture of having a series of meetings. Instead, a two-day event is held and major tourism players are invited, like the recently-concluded one held in the United Kingdom (UK). This new setting has allowed for more discussion and greater success.

The tourism director noted that 120 people attended the most recent meeting in which Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony participated. He said it is also an opportunity to update the corporations on what is new in St. Lucia and give them an update on what is planned for the next year.

Lewis said it was important to have the prime minister, since it gave the tourism operators and corporations the assurance of the sector and the feedback was good. The tourism director stated that despite the challenges, the SLTB will strive towards ensuring that St. Lucia continues to be a number one choice for tourism in the Caribbean.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. You people are sick., Real Sick. You all just want to open your mouths complaining hoe you all do have money. Just SHUT UP!!!!!!!

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  2. Why do some people comment? They do not even understand what they read. This is STREET VIBES in writing. Such idiots. And this is read all over the world.

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  3. Lewis is singing for his family supper...It was important to have the Prime Minister...Tell the Prime Minister ..Itt is improtant that he leaves my 5% alone....I don't see those Tourism $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

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  4. What are the tangible benefits in all this so called increased arrivals ? We would do better planting food rather than depending on handouts. This focus on tourism has only made beggars out of us. All tourists I have encountered, complain about habitual harassment. They cannot enjoy the tranquility they vacate for. Let' focus on agriculture because it is more sustainable.

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  5. I wish someone who works with the airlines will come and tell the public that these guys are lying. I work a the airport and I am not seeing what this guy is saying. Just like when Mosa was saying there was an increase in banana export. That too was a big lie. Lewis should know "WHO FEELS IT KNOWS IT"

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  6. What happened to all the charter airlines that used to fly to St Lucia. I used to come back over from the UK regularly in the 90's. Wasn't tourism better when flights from the UK were cheap? Now only Virgin and BA sem to fly from the UK.

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  7. It would make a hell of a lot of more sense if the public at large would be told something a lot more meaningful. What about tourism spending? What about tourism's contribution in the first half of the year. Come on!

    You need arrivals, yes. But what is tourism's net contribution?

    You all continue to eat soap on this and for too long. Smart people are no longer fooled by such official meaningless statistics. When will you put a halt to all this nonsense?

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  8. Its pointless contributing to this comment page,if the comments are illegible,the point of this forum is to share views amongst the contributors.

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  9. Well if most people doh agree with what Louis Lewis saying go ask Alan Chas y Jade Mountain and Anchastenet hotels giving 275 workers a 7% rise doh forget it is not locals that's in these hotels eh is tourist that in their so tings must b nice to give more pay whiles we their fighting over political sides hey people it's not d common man their check d country's GDP from is d business and tourism sector profits an out puts so stop when u'll stop spending to much on vaval jazz parting impressing showing off and start investing in ur self d common man go see his GDP (NOW BASH ME)

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      • LOL MAD COW what sense does it make when we have such grandiose increases in tourist arrivals but the average man on the streets still cant eat, taxi drivers, craft vendors,small restaurants, ? these things do matter .

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        • Not saying no, but that still doesn't negate the fact that there are increases. Now, whether that translates to cash in the hands of local vendors is a different issue . . . and by the way that does matter. Does that mean more:
          1. tax dollars for government? YES.
          2. revenue for point seraphine? Yes.
          3. income for taxi drivers and tour operators? Yes.

          I am sure there are other direct and indirect benefits to st. lucia. And I agree with you that there should be more patronizing of the local vendors but who am I to tell tourists how and where to spend their money? hmmmm!

          The Mad Cow has spoken!

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  10. you fooling yourself but not we lucian anymore
    increase in tourist.you were hiding the tourist in your closet or what. increase my ass.

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    • Hey do any of u understand economics stop barking coz barking dogs seldom bite unless u'll can do better action speaks louder than words go protest and boycott its ur vote dat put them their coz u made a move to put an X go defend dat X all d talk is just self frustration with no action dat leads no were but a doctor's office an dats not a positive contributing

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