SLTB Seeks To Reverse Market Decline
ST. LUCIA Tourist Board will next week make a strong and compelling case for United Kingdom (UK) travellers to visit St. Lucia.
So said Tourism Director Louis Lewis as he announced a special promotional blitz dubbed “St. Lucia Showcase” that the Tourist Board will engage in, in response to a 12 percent decline in visitor arrivals from the UK for the first seven months of this year.
Lewis at the time was speaking at a press conference to update the media on the performance of the country’s tourism industry this year.
This decline has had a negative impact on overall visitor arrivals here for the same period, which registered a 0.6 percent drop, a situation that does not sit well with the Tourist Board, hence the special promotion lasting a day and half in the UK come next week.
“We have a bit of concern with the UK market. We have had a decline of 12 percent in that market’s performance. We have had discussions on how to address these issues,” Lewis said.
Next week’s special promotion will see trade promoters who sell St. Lucia in the UK engaging local hoteliers and the Tourist Board in selling the country.
Lewis spoke of a slippage of the pound sterling against the U.S. dollar and an almost 11 percent decline in the price of the British currency due to Brexit as causing the problems St. Lucia is experiencing in the British market.
He believes that the special promotion will turn things around in the UK market for St. Lucia, based on the configurations the Tourist Board has put together.
“We have every reason to believe that we will be successful. It’s not about offering St. Lucia as just an ordinary vacation option, but presenting a compelling reason to visit the destination where we showcase what the strong and core attributes are,” Lewis said.
Other than the UK, other markets of significance for St. Lucia have shown growth in visitor arrivals such as the all-important American market which has grown 6 percent and the Canadian market, which has shown growth of 51 percent in arrivals.
The Caribbean market, which over the years has become significant to the Tourist Board, registered a decline for the seven month period of two percent, something Lewis said was anticipated but will improve at the end of the year.
“We’ve had a very strong performance in 2015 and it is a bit of a challenge keeping up with that high performance,” Lewis said.
St. Lucia’s strongest Caribbean market is Martinique. “We have every reason to believe that at the end of the year we will see an increase in overall arrivals from the Caribbean market,” Lewis said.