PRESS RELEASE – SAINT LUCIA’S tourism sector continues to enjoy robust performance, recording the second-fastest growth in the region among Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) member countries.
Bermuda leads the member countries as at August with 11.9% increase in stayover arrivals over 2016, followed by Saint Lucia at 9.2%.
Saint Lucia also recorded the third-highest percentage increase for the month of August at 11.4%, behind Belize at 19.1% and Grenada at 16.9%. August marked the third consecutive month of double-digit growth for Saint Lucia and fourth for the year, a feat surpassed only by Bermuda with five double-digit increases so far for the year.
The United States continues to be the market leader with total stay-over visitor arrivals of 12,922 in August 2017. The United Kingdom (UK) showed a marked increase of 36%, a much-welcomed result after a difficult year for the UK market in 2016.
For the month of August, cruise sector visitor arrivals were 20,341 a 6.3% increase over the previous year, contributing to the sector’s strong performance. Year-to-date, the cruise sector has recorded an increase of 21.1%. This sector is poised for greater increases in 2018 as the port expansion at Pointe Seraphine Berth No.1 is scheduled for completion in December. The berth 1 expansion will allow Port Castries to accommodate two quantum class vessels, with guest capacities exceeding 4,700 each.
The tourism sector has seen some important expansion in the year so far with the opening of the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa, which has 455 rooms in two hotels one catering to families and the other, adults only. Serenity Villas at Coconut Bay Resort in Vieux Fort has also unveiled its 36 luxury villas also catering to adults only.
Other planned developments for later this year, such as the opening of HarborClub, are expected to be opened this winter. The Bel Jou Hotel has undergone significant renovations with a new façade, the addition of 12 new rooms a new rooftop lounge and several other improvements, and is expected to reopen this November.
These new offerings will contribute significantly to boosting the sector’s growth even further.