Saint Lucia posts positive start to winter season
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority released its latest tourism data as it kicks off the winter season.
Visitor arrivals continue to rise as it works successfully to restore tourism, with a 25% increase on 2020 year to date.
A total of 20,393 stay-over arrivals was recorded in October 2021, up 61% on 2020.
The US has seen double-digit growth this year resulting in an overall increase of 56% on the figures recorded year-to-date from 2020.
July and August stayovers were the best yet – higher than in 2019, at 22,034 and 15,880 respectively.
October was the UK’s most successful month for 2021 so far with arrivals just under 6,000, back in line with the seasonal average.
“This sustained regain is a clear indication that our carefully managed Covid protocols, combined with well-targeted marketing, are seeing our visitors return. Feedback from our visitors tells us that when they come to Saint Lucia, they feel reassured with how we are managing the tourist experience during the pandemic,” said Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
Dr. Hilaire added, “We continue to strive towards a full recovery and coexisting with Covid, as we focus on sustainable tourism development.”
Investment in marketing steps up this winter with trade and consumer advertising planned for the turn of the year.
SLTA continues to engage with the trade via incentives, training, hosting trade events and fam trips will return in 2022.
The destination has strong airlift.
This summer, new non-stop flights were introduced from the US, adding a service from Dallas and tripling direct services from the New York area.
American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United Airlines all have nonstop flights from major US cities.
A weekly Sunday service via Air Canada started again on October 3, with added flights throughout the season.
From 1 November, British Airways returned to daily flights, while Virgin Atlantic returned with three flights a week from London Heathrow.
The UK travel trade is reporting that forward bookings to Saint Lucia remain positive for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.
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