SAINT LUCIA’S tourism industry is seeing encouraging growth, according to recently-released visitor arrivals figures.
At a press conference held on Wednesday, Minister responsible for Tourism, Dominic Fedee, along with Executive Chairperson of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Agnes Francis, informed the media about the island’s steady improvement in visitor arrivals recorded in the first quarter of 2017.
Saint Lucia’s year-to-date arrival figures for the first quarter improved by 23.4% with significant increases recorded in cruise arrivals of 33.4% and with an additional 7,349 stay-over arrivals in 2017 compared to 2016.
Fedee noted that arrivals from the Caribbean and Canada were significantly strengthened with increases of 31.4% and 71.6% respectively. Yachting arrivals and arrivals from the U.K. continued to struggle in 2017. However, it was noted that targeted interventions have been put in place to encourage a rebounding of these markets.
The press conference also provided the opportunity to give an update on the establishment of the Tourism Authority. In her remarks, Francis indicated that the legislation for the establishment of the Authority will be tabled in Parliament near the end of the month and it is anticipated it will be established in July.
Throughout the transition, the Board has continued to work assiduously for the development of the industry. It was announced that to further bolster its presence in the marketplace, the SLTB has recently reopened all its overseas offices with Saint Lucians at the helm.
The press conference also included a presentation from the Caribbean Premiere League, which formally announced the league’s newest team, the St. Lucia Stars. The team’s owner, Jay Pandya, addressed the gathering and thanked the Saint Lucian government for its partnership and continued commitment to the development of cricket.
The 2017 Caribbean Premiere League will be launched at the Daren Sammy Cricket Grounds on Friday, August 4 with four more matches to be played throughout the month of August.