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Published on Wednesday, January 29, 2020

St Lucia exceeds 400k overnight visitor figure

St Lucia has surpassed all previous records for stay-over arrivals.

For the period January to December 2019, St Lucia recorded 423,736 stay-over visitors, the highest in the island's history.

This year marked the first time that the destination broke the 400,000 mark in stay-over arrivals in a one-year period. 

This is a significant achievement, 100,000 additional visitors in nine years; an increase of 38%.

The US accounts for close to half (45%) of total stay-over arrivals - roughly 191,000 visitors. 

The Caribbean emerged as the island's second largest market claiming 20% of total stay-over arrivals, followed closely by the UK market with 19% and Canada with 10%.

In total, stay-over arrivals were up 7% from the previous year, which was a record-breaking year.

UK figures for the year are up 6.2% totalling 83,669 visitors.

UK holidaymakers lead the way in terms of duration of stay average at 10.76 nights per visit.

To keep the momentum and support the trade in selling the island, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) is running a large-scale marketing campaign including TV ads with British Airways running until April.

Other activity includes outdoor billboards, radio, press and digital and trade and niche media promotions such as diving and birding. 2020 also sees the release of Saint Lucia's first podcast series, fronted by presenter and writer Jon Holmes.

Tourism minister Dominic Fedee said: "We are not simply interested in increasing numbers but more importantly ensuring that the growth trajectory of the industry is sustainable and that it touches every facet of economic development leading to employment creation and income generation for our people. 

"External reports also indicate that although Saint Lucia has one of the highest average daily rates (ADR) in the region, we continue to be in high demand, which only augurs well for the revenue generation capability of the destination.

"Surpassing the 400,000 visitor-arrival threshold truly is a fitting way to conclude the island's recognition of its 40th year of independence."

The first time the country surpassed the 300,000 mark was in 2010 when the island recorded 305,937 stay over arrivals.

Image: Bugsier from Pixabay

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