Tourism continues to rebound, auguring well for more jobs, business linkages, and revenue with more eyes set on Saint Lucia with additional options to the destination from international gateways. Serving as the most major source market amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, visitor arrival data for May 2021 indicates that Saint Lucia has recovered 81% of the US market as compared to May 2019. Since the reintroduction of tourism on June 4, 2020, to date, Saint Lucia has welcomed over 80,141 visitors.
Surpassing 35% visitor arrival projections, the past month noted peaks in arrivals as the destination recorded yet another busy weekend that welcomed more than 3000 visitors. Tourism Minister, Hon. Dominic Fedee, representatives for American Airlines and staff of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) were part of the delegation that welcomed the reintroduction of the airline’s service from New York’s JFK following the suspension of service in 2009. The delegation also welcomed the inaugural nonstop service from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
Touching down to a water cannon salute at approximately 12:35 p.m. was the New York service and just hours later at 5:30 p.m., yet another water cannon salute greeted the highly anticipated and data-driven service from DFW. A combined total of 209 arriving passengers, including those fully vaccinated, were met with a full complement of health and safety protocols.
Sales and Marketing efforts leading up to the arrival of the inaugural service saw live media conferences and interviews across Dallas on ABC, NBC, and CBS. With DFW being an award-winning international airport and with an average 4.7M monthly passengers, the SLTA seized the opportunity to captivate a large audience during high dwell times displaying some of Saint Lucia’s most compelling digital and static images as well as branding across the interior and exterior of all four terminals and the jet bridges at terminals A and C.
“This is a historic and significant moment for the destination. With the advent of more tourism corridors, this means more economic gains that the people of Saint Lucia will benefit from. In strategically positioning Saint Lucia’s tourism, the SLTA is working assiduously to establish a year-round service”, noted Tourism Minister Honorable Dominic Fedee.
Locally handcrafted plaques depicting the destination’s logo and niche markets by Saint Lucian artist, Christy Gustave were presented to American Airlines in commemoration of its services to the destination. Crewmembers, special guests, and lucky seat winners were also gifted on arrival compliments the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Saint Lucia Distillers Limited Edition Chairman’s Reserve Rum by Saint Lucian artist Daniel Jean- Baptiste and Kako Organic. Out of Dallas, one lucky passenger was gifted with a 3-night Stay for two- complements Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort.
Dubbed “Cowboys of the Caribbean” in the 2018 American Airlines’ inflight magazine -American Way, Shervon Sealys greeted passengers with the sounds of Country and Classic music.
The Weekly nonstop service from UVF to DFW will depart Saint Lucia every Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Caribbean Time (ECT) and arrive at DFW at 7:22 p.m. Central Standard Time (CST). The New York service will depart UVF at 3:00 p.m. and arrive at JFK at 8:03 p.m.