The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has released its latest stay-over results, revealing March 2022 as the highest arrivals month since the restart of the industry from the Covid-19 Pandemic, in addition to achieving top five performance status in the Caribbean*.
Stay-over visitors for March 2022 were recorded at 32,110, (up 21% on the forecasted figure), with a total of 80,811 arrivals year to date (from January to March), marking a strong start to the year.
This echoes the latest report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)* which confirmed the Caribbean region as leading the world in the recovery of stopover arrivals. The region’s recovery rate sits at 61.5% comparing 2022 to 2019. This is almost double the total global rate of 32.9%.
Saint Lucia is highlighted as one of the best-performing destinations for 2022 so far and is the only country in the Eastern Caribbean in the top five.
The US accounts for 56.2% of total stay-over arrivals year to date in Saint Lucia – approximately 45,400 visitors. The UK is the island’s second-largest market with 30.3% of total stay-over arrivals at almost 24,500, the highest share recorded for this market, even pre-Pandemic.
The Canadian market continues to show steady growth when compared to the same period for 2020 and 2021. The first quarter of 2022 reflects 6% of total visitor arrivals to the destination following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Marketing, public relations, and sales efforts across Canada continue to drive demand for the destination as Canadian airlines have extended their flight schedules into the summer. With the ease of travel restrictions by the Canadian Government, several in-person events have been scheduled, including participating in The Outdoor Adventure Show in late April, followed by the North American Roadshow in June.
Visitors from the Caribbean and the rest of the world account for 7% of overall arrivals.
With tourism arrivals increasing, SLTA CEO Lorine Charles-St. Jules said: “To keep the momentum going, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority is running a targeted marketing campaign for the summer months. The revitalization of Lucian Carnival is one of our priority events this year and we will continue to promote our strong niche offerings such as romance, diving, accommodations, and adventure with some exciting plans for the rest of the year.”
The Tourism Authority continues to engage in productive relationships with trade partners alongside careful management of Covid protocols. Consistent collaboration between the private and public tourism sectors will continue to bear fruit for the industry.
Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire said, “The numbers are really encouraging and a testament to the people who work tirelessly in the tourism industry in Saint Lucia. Our aim is to ensure that the growth trajectory is sustainable and benefits our people through employment and income generation as well as providing the best experience for our visitors.”
Saint Lucia has recently eased its entry requirements. Fully vaccinated visitors and returning nationals no longer need any pre-entry COVID-19 testing whilst the online registration process has been removed for all.