The first half of 2013 has seen a dramatic increase in the number of arrivals to Saint Lucia. From January to June, there has been a 5% increase of visitors, particularly stay over arrivals.
At a press briefing on Wednesday July 31st, the island’s Minister for Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries Honourable Lorne Theophilus lauded the efforts of tourism stakeholders who contributed to a positive 5% growth in the industry from January to June.
Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Louis Lewis, expounded on the news saying the United States market has been growing consistently for 2013.
“That has everything to do with the strategies that we have implemented so far, a number of them being led by public relations, getting strategic media out there in the market place to create that demand. We’ve also had a number of familiarization trips with travel agents which we have been able to target very closely because of a programme that we have called the Saint Lucia specialist. “
According to Lewis, special events such as the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival have been a major factor in the increase. The projected figures for the remainder of the year bode well for the Tourist Board as there has been a strategic move to increase airlift out of the North American market in the coming months.
“We saw an increase in capacity from Jet Blue this year. We also saw an increase in capacity from US Airways as well as from Delta Airlines and now we have United and we are confident that based on the performance United has shown right through to March next year, we should be talking to them of a schedule of three or six. “
There are several projects on the books to boost Saint Lucia’s global standing including a Wedding Symposium and targeted marketing.