St Lucia records significant increase in tourist arrivals

Sunday, October 22, 2017

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CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) — St Lucia’s tourism sector continues to enjoy robust performance, recording the second fastest growth in the region among Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) member countries.

Figures released by the CTO says Bermuda leads the member countries as at August with 11.9 percent increase in stayover arrivals over 2016, followed by St Lucia at 9.2 percent.

The island also recorded the third highest percentage increase for August at 11.4 percent, followed by Belize at 19.1 percent and Grenada at 16.9 percent.

August marked the third consecutive month of double digit growth for St Lucia and fourth for the year; a feat surpassed only by Bermuda with five double digit increases so far for the year.

The United States continues to be the market leader with total stay-over visitor arrivals of 12,922 in August 2017.

The United Kingdom (UK) showed a marked increase of 36 percent, a significant jump, after a difficult year for the UK market in 2016.

In August, cruise sector visitor arrivals were 20,341 a 6.3 percent increase over the previous year, contributing to the sectors strong performance.

Year to date, the cruise sector has recorded an increase of 21.1 percent.

This sector is poised for greater increases in 2018 as the port expansion at Pointe Seraphine Berth Number 1 is scheduled for completion in December.

The berth 1 expansion, will allow port Castries to accommodate two quantum class vessels, with guest capacities exceeding 4700 each.

In addition, the tourism sector has expanded with the opening of the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa, which has 455 rooms in two hotels one catering to families and the other, adults only.

Serenity Villas at Coconut Bay Resort in Vieux Fort has also unveiled its 36 luxury villas also catering to adults only.

Other planned developments for later this year such as the opening of Harbour Club in winter.

The Bel Jou Hotel has also undergone significant renovations with a new façade, the addition of 12 new rooms a new rooftop lounge and several other improvements, and is expected to reopen this November.

Tourism officials say these new offerings will contribute significantly to boosting the sector’s growth even further.

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