A group of travel agents from North America and the United Kingdom visited Saint Lucia last week to experience first-hand the multiple award-winning romance and wedding destination market.
About thirty-five travel agents were invited to Saint Lucia by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) to experience what was themed the “Romance Familiarization Tour of Saint Lucia 2016”.
Running from October 6 – 9, the tour included visits to hotels, sites, attractions and amenities which helped establish Saint Lucia’s reputation as a leading romance and wedding destination. The travel agents also met with providers of the varied services associated with destination weddings — from the producers of flowers and floral bouquets to those providing confectionery and wedding cakes, limousine service, horseback riding, wedding carriages and zip lining.
Director of Tourism, Louis Lewis, said the ‘recession-proof’ wedding industry continues to grow and consequently Saint Lucia is positioning to take advantage of the increased number of persons opting for destination weddings. Lewis said the familiarization visit was deliberately highlighting linkages that are critical to ensuring the tourism dollar filters to every sector of society. The beneficiaries range from musicians and singers who perform at weddings to fashion designers, interior decorators, photographers and farmers.
Linda Buchnam of TraveLBudi in New Hampshire has commended the Saint Lucia Tourist Board for the familiarization tour, explaining that “If you do not see the product, it’s really hard to sell it”. She said that while one can go to the website for information, the experience of actually visiting the destination empowers travel agents to sell the destination more compellingly.