Business Caribbean News

St. Lucia pleased with tourism figures

St. Lucia says it remains optimistic over a continued growth trajectory for the island’s vital tourism industry after figures released here for the first half of the year show a strong demand by visitors to visit the Caribbean country.

According to the figures, stay-over arrivals for June 2019 peaked at 34,040, an increase of nine per cent over the same period last year. It also marked the fifth record breaking month for the year.

Contributing to the growth for the month of June were increases in the island’s main source market the United States, which saw a 17 per cent increase, Germany 31 per cent, the rest of Europe nine per cent, the Caribbean seven per cent, and Canada with an increase of 20 per cent.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St. Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) Beverly Nicholson-Doty said the growth can be attributed to multiple factors, including ncreased airlift from the US, directly attributed to a second AA flight out of Miami that brought on 5,264 additional seats. Additional seats were also added on by JetBlue from JFK and Boston.

Airlift out of the Canadian market increased with an additional 256 seats from West Jet and Air Canada combined.

Other factors contributing to the increases were the hosting of a series of events which attracted regional travellers.

Decreases in visitor arrivals were however recorded from the UK with a 15 per cent decline and 21 per cent from the rest of world.

Nicholson-Doty says given that there’s still a slew of exciting destination marketing initiatives to be rolled out for 2019 along with the ensuing winter season, St. Lucia looks well poised to meet and indeed surpass the record 1.2 million visitors it welcomed in 2018.

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