St. Lucia sees marginal growth in tourism arrivals in 2015 as Caribbean region makes history

St. Lucia sees marginal growth in tourism arrivals in 2015 as Caribbean region makes history

Castries-Harbour-Saint-Lucia-Flickr-Loraineltai-1The Caribbean tourism industry for the first time in history outpaced the growth of the rest of the world. This was reveal in the tourism growth data for 2015 at the State of the Tourism Industry Report held today at the CTO headquarters in Barbados.

St. Lucia saw a significant 5.2% growth in winter tourist arrivals while experiencing a weak 0.2% growth in summer arrivals. The growth in arrivals pushed total stopovers for St. Lucia to 344,908 visitors for 2015, an increase of 2.0% over the previous year.

The most significant growths were seen in Cuba and Haiti; the former experiencing a whopping 17.4% increase while the latter saw a healthy 10.9% increase in arrivals.

Figures to note are:

  • The 7% increase in international trips to the Caribbean (28.7 million arrivals) in 2015 is supported by sustained economic recovery in our main markets, a strong US dollar and a collapse in oil prices.


  • There were over 14.3 million U.S. visits to the region, 6.3% more than the previous year. Notably, the American market accounts for approximately 50% of total arrivals. The majority of Americans to the region visited the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and The Bahamas.


  • Arrivals from the European market were estimated at 5.2 million, breaching the 5 million mark for the first time since 2008. This represented growth of 4.2%. The top performers were Turks & Caicos Islands (34.7%), Cuba (23.1%) and Montserrat (12.1%).


Lower oil prices, a strong US dollar, improved economic growth in our major source markets and extra airline seat capacity to the region are all expected to positively impact tourism performance in the Caribbean, while uncertainty about the impact of the mosquito-borne disease Zika persists, the implications of the economic slowdown of China, the world’s largest economy, and the continuation of recessions in Brazil and Venezuela will temper our optimism.

Consequently, we predict that stay-over arrivals to the Caribbean will increase between 4.5 and 5.5%, while cruise arrivals will increase between 1 and 2%.



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  1. The growth in st lucia has been too small and may be due to the failure of the tourism minister, who I am quite certain will not be returning. Good riddance too, his incompetence was not amusing.

    Granted the the 17% growth rate in cuba may have pulled up the mean in the region, perhaps use a geometric mean instead of trying to mislead.

    Another thing, when the tourism data is collected. Are flight and cruise crew included? Maybe that unacceptable 2% growth isnt even quite as small as it should be.


  2. There is nothing to applaud the Government for. The overall increase in tourism in the Caribbean is 7%. The total increase for St Lucia is a marginal 2%. 14.3 million tourist visited the Caribbean and we could not even in half a million. Montserrat growth from the European market was 12.1%. I wonder what was St Lucia's growth from Europe. A market where we don't do too well. So what is the big fuss about tourism helping to improve the economy? Was that a hoax?


    • The Caribbean saw a 7% increase while Lucia saw a 2% jump. The 2% jump might not seem like much but you have to factor in the # of islands that are in the Caribbean. So, that 2% jump is actually quite good. Sidde note, the caribbean saw an increase in tourism because of isis and whats going on in europe so our leaders cant take credit for that.


      • I think you have it wrong. It is not just the factor o the number of islands. As stated in the the report, there are islands with as high as 17.4% and 10.9%. If all the islands had 10.9% the Caribbean increase would have been 10.9%. When you have 17% and 10% and St Lucia have an increase of only 2% this is the reason the Caribbean average growth is only 7%. St Lucia is one of the reason the average is at 7% and not more. Have you watched a students report book and compare the class average with the child's average? If the child's average is higher than the class average you are usually a happy parent but if it is below you would have a problem since the child would be one of the reason the class average went down. This is what ST Lucia have done to the Caribbean growth average. They brought it down. Montserrat had over 12% in European tourist only.


  3. Boy all of a sudden things seem to want to show betters days. Not for me. All unqualified NICE and STEP folks employed full time ànd phd me no job. I am not in anyway be fooled by these late hour relesese. My mind made up already. Sorry Kenny.


  4. seems a lot of miracles are happening in the election year. 5000 jobs created suddenly...IMF gives good report and now this. WOW! Just now Kenny will be turning water into wine and getting everyone drunk. Better days come boi!


  5. I suppose the detractors will come out with "They are cooking the numbers" or Ferrol Trident will say "Stop fooling St. Lucians with statistics". I suppose the must oppose for apposing sake!


    • Before you hacks comment please compare St lucia's figures to the rest of the increases across the Caribbean. We actually did not do justice to the Caribbean overall average. Compare our 2% increase against the overall 7%, much less to the likes of Cuba and the others.


    • Before you comment please compare our increase to the rest of the caribbean. we actually didnt do justice to the caribbean average of 7% with our piss poor 2%. Its even worse when compared to the likes of cuba and co.


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