Business, News

Saint Lucia Breaking Records with Visitor Arrivals, Local Events and Hotel Developments

Tourism Figures Surpass 2019 Levels and U.S. Market Achieves Best Month Ever

Tourism is growing and thriving in Saint Lucia as the winter vacation season approaches, according to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), which stated that this year to date, it has seen record-breaking visitor arrivals, the return of events, and a significant number of tourism developments.

“Our record-breaking tourism figures from July, paired with our successful Carnival events this summer, have set the stage for what is shaping up to be an incredible winter tourism season for Saint Lucia,” said Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire. “Our local community is engaged and we’re welcoming visitors with new tourism opportunities, our renowned cuisine, and most importantly, our famous Saint Lucian hospitality.”

Breaking Records with International Visitors

In July 2022, Saint Lucia recorded more than 39,000 visitors, the most outstanding performance and the largest number of stayover arrivals in any one-month period since the Covid crisis began. By the end of July, Saint Lucia had recovered 80% of 2019 arrivals from global markets. Additionally:

● The U.S. had its highest ever arrivals, surpassing 2019 levels for five out of seven months from January through July, four of which were record-breaking. The final August figure is expected to be similarly strong.

● The European market has been eager to return to Saint Lucia as well. The UK surpassed 2019 levels in March and April and was shy of July 2019 arrivals by just 3%.

● These arrival figures are significant because they illustrate that tourism in Saint Lucia is not only back, it is indeed growing and thriving.

● In addition, the Saint Lucia independent culinary and restaurant sector reported that July was their best performing month this year.

“Airlift from international markets has been exceptional, reflecting the airlines’ confidence in the recovery of our island. This summer, Saint Lucia had 72% more seats than in 2021 and surpassed 2019 levels by 9%. Since 2019 was a record-breaking year, this signals that Saint Lucia’s airlift is extremely strong.

We continue to work closely with the airlines to increase the frequency of flights from our key feeder markets – and to also introduce airlift from new cities,” Hilaire said.


According to the SLTA the joyous sound of Saint Lucia Carnival was heard around the Caribbean and the world this summer, further, Saint Lucia welcomed more than ten thousand visitors during Carnival festivities, soaking up the return of this beloved cultural event.

“This was the first major international event since the pandemic, and it set the stage for the return of other events, such as the much-anticipated Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts festival. As previously announced, the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival will return from May 5 to 14, 2023 after a three-year hiatus. The festival will return to its original format, including R&B, hip hop, reggae, and Latin music – as well as a showcase of local artistes. The lineup promises to be exciting and will be announced to the public soon. It will be a must-see event for all music fans,” noted the SLTA in a release.

Tourism Development Highlights

Saint Lucia is continuously providing new vacation options for visitors and developing experiences that showcase Saint Lucian culture and involve its local communities in tourism activities.

“We’re thrilled that our rapidly expanded adventure offerings recently landed us the designation as the Caribbean’s Leading Adventure destination by the World Travel Awards. We recently added more ATV Experiences, and off-the-beaten-path activities like our Three Peak Challenge which involves the climbing of both Piton mountains and Mount Gimie,” noted the SLTA.

The SLTA added that Saint Lucia is a hot spot for hotel growth, with several international brands committing to new hotels, and developments in our locally-owned sector and hotel expansions. A few highlights include the new Sol Sanctum boutique resort; Zoëtry Marigot Bay St. Lucia opening on December 1 as the first AMR Collection resort on the island; and in March 2023, the East Winds resort will debut a major expansion with 48 new rooms and a renovation of 26 cottages.

Strong Global Marketing Efforts

“Our teams in Saint Lucia and around the world work 24/7 every day of the year to market Saint Lucia to international audiences. Saint Lucia attracts visitors for its renowned diving and adventure, romance experiences, weddings and honeymoons, and family travel.

“Our sales, marketing, public relations, and advertising teams study the tourism trends in our key markets and develop creative programmes that make Saint Lucia stand out among the crowded Caribbean and warm-weather vacation market. These programmes inspire first-time and repeat visitors to experience our diverse and authentic activities like the rainforest, the mud baths, and our beloved Pitons; our truly one-of-a-kind resorts; and our welcoming people.

“For example, our sales road shows were back in force this summer in the U.S., Canada, and UK. These immersive experiences brought the island’s culture, music, and cuisine to major cities. As the winter tourism season approaches, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority will continue to work with local and international partners to enhance the island’s reputation and grow visitor arrivals,” noted the SLTA.

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