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PRESS RELEASE – The Saint Lucia Tourist Board is reveling in the significant growth in visitor arrivals recorded in just the first five months of the year.
Total stay-over arrivals (by air and ferry) at the end of May 2014 have surpassed all numbers previously recorded in the island’s history.
At 150,749, visitor arrivals are 6 percent higher than the same period last year – a difference of more than 8,000 arrivals.
To further emphasise the significance of this year’s performance, increases were recorded every month thus far with April recording both the highest percentage as well as actual growth.
In addition, the figures recorded in the months of February, March and April were the highest number of arrivals ever recorded in these respective months in the island’s history.
The expansion of the sector is fueled by growth in particular markets, namely the US and UK, the island’s two largest markets, which increased by 14 percent and 5 percent respectively during the five-month period.
Growth was also experienced in the Canadian and European markets, both of which increased by double digit percentages over last year.
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis acknowledged the boost in the sector and attributed its growth to the strategic marketing efforts targeted at key sectors of the source markets, most notably being the airlift expansion strategy and fostering closer relationships with the travel trade.
“The outstanding performance recorded this year is testimony to the work that the Tourist Board engages in to market the destination, and can be translated into a greater awareness of the destination in our key source markets. We are very pleased to announce the sector’s performance for the year thus far.”
The success also extends into the cruise and yachting sectors, which also recorded major increases in the last five months. The island recorded a six percent increase in cruise arrivals stemming from the 11 percent increase in calls, whilst arrivals by yacht increased 19 percent over the same time period.
According to Lewis, “with such an impressive start, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board is projecting a similar if not better performance throughout the balance of the year, especially considering the increasing airlift in the upcoming winter season from both the US and Canadian markets.”