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Saint Lucia Records over 1.2 Million Visitors In 2018 

(TORONTO, ON) - Saint Lucia has recorded its best performance ever in visitor arrivals, as it welcomed 1,218,294 visitors in 2018. That number represents a 10.2% increase over 2017, which was also a record-setting year for the island.

Posted on Mon, Jan 21st, 2019 2:03 pm by joyoftravel.ca news services

Industry figures are up across the board led by the yachting sector with a 25.9% increase over last year’s numbers. Cruising is up by 13.6%; and stay-over arrivals have increased by 2.2%.

A press conference was held to release the latest figures, Tourism Minister, Honourable Dominic Fedee highlighted some of the steps that have been taken to reposition Saint Lucia’s tourism product to compete among other leading destinations.   

“We have a very small tourism marketing budget – around US$13 million – so we have to ensure that our efforts are targeted,” remarked Hon. Dominic Fedee. “We use a scientific approach to select the areas where we can reach the most visitors with the highest net-worth in our marketing campaigns. For us, these areas are, predominantly, in the north-eastern USA (the Tri-state and Boston), the south-east UK region of London and its surrounding suburbs and the Greater Toronto area in Canada. 

The island continues to record strong numbers in its major generating markets of the United States, UK, and Canada.  Stayover arrivals from Canada were recorded at 40,218 year to date, an increase of 4% during the month of December 2018. Canada is the third largest inbound market for visitor arrivals to Saint Lucia. 

The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) also focused on the Martinique market, which is the highest yielding in the Caribbean, and launched “Caribcation” in the summer of 2018 as a platform to attract more Caribbean travellers, whose numbers grew by 1.6% over 2017.

A record, 760,306 cruise passengers visited the island during the period owing to an expansion of Berth #1 at Pointe Seraphine, which allowed Port Castries to accommodate Vista, Quantum and Freedom Class vessels. 

Projections for 2019 look good, with British Airways pacing at 17% and Virgin Holidays at 27.9% over 2018. Condor has started an inter-airline agreement with LIAT on service from Frankfurt, Germany to Antigua and onto Saint Lucia from January 7 – March 31, 2019 and a number of other major airlines have expanded their service to the destination. 

The SLTA is angling for greater growth in 2019, and will continue with its aggressive, targeted marketing campaigns to attract even more visitors to the destination.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucia.org/.

About Saint Lucia 

One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies' Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the Eastern Caribbean archipelago. The "Helen of the West Indies," Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a tropical rainforest and one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes. 

Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Soleil Saint Lucia Summer Festival. Saint Lucia's wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. Saint Lucia is also home to world class cruise and yachting facilities. The island is continually recognized as one of the leading Wedding and Honeymoon destinations worldwide.