CASTRIES, St. Lucia, August 10, 2019 (CMC) – 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 percent 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 markets: the United States, which saw a 17 percent increase; Germany grew by 31 percent; the rest of Europe nine percent; the Caribbean seven percent, and Canada with an increase of 20 percent.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the St. Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), Beverly Nicholson-Doty, said the growth can be attributed to multiple factors, including increased airlift from the US, directly attributed to a second American Airlines 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 percent decline and 21 percent 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.