Saint Lucia’s Tourism Soars in March

March marked a significant milestone for Saint Lucia as the Caribbean destination welcomed its highest monthly total of overnight, land-based visitors since reopening in July 2020 after the Covid-19 outbreak. This remarkable achievement represents a 21 percent increase over the forecasted figures provided by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA).

From January to March of this year, Saint Lucia has already hosted a remarkable 80,811 air arrivals, showcasing a strong start to the year. Among the total stay-over arrivals, U.S. travelers accounted for the largest share, representing 56.2 percent with a staggering 45,400 visitors.

The notable increase in arrivals not only reflects the island’s exceptional performance but also aligns with the latest report from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, which recognizes the Caribbean as a leading region in the recovery of stopover arrivals. With a recovery rate of 61.5 percent in comparison to 2019, the Caribbean outperforms the global average of 32.9 percent.

Saint Lucia takes pride in being the only country in the Eastern Caribbean to secure a place among the top five highest-performing global nations in 2022, as affirmed by SLTA officials. Additionally, the United Kingdom emerges as the second-largest visitor source market for Saint Lucia, accounting for 30.3 percent of total overnight arrivals. This market’s share is the highest recorded, even prior to the pandemic, highlighting the enduring appeal of Saint Lucia to British travelers.

These exceptional visitor figures not only demonstrate Saint Lucia’s resilience but also showcase its allure as a premier destination for travelers seeking unforgettable experiences and unparalleled hospitality.

Promising Growth and Enhanced Connectivity: Saint Lucia’s Thriving Tourism Sector

Officials have noted that Saint Lucia’s Canadian market continues to exhibit consistent growth, surpassing the performance of the same period in 2020 and 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, the Canadian market accounted for six percent of total visitor arrivals, signaling a positive rebound following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, visitors from the Caribbean and other parts of the world contributed to seven percent of the arrivals during the same period, as reported by officials.

The introduction of the new electronic immigration form, aiming to improve the procedure of entering the country may have played an important role in achieving the good incoming results.

To meet the rising demand for travel, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has announced that regional carrier interCaribbean Airways will enhance its flight services. Effective March 12, interCaribbean Airways will operate three weekly departures between Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent, providing increased convenience for travelers. Additionally, the frequency of interCaribbean’s flights from Dominica to Saint Lucia will be raised from five to six days a week. The airline is also set to introduce additional daily scheduled flights connecting Saint Lucia and Barbados, as revealed by SLTA officials.

Dr. Ernest Hilaire, Saint Lucia’s Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture, and Information, expressed optimism about the partnership, emphasizing its potential to boost inter-regional travel and attract a greater number of visitors to Saint Lucia throughout the year. Trevor Sadler, CEO of interCaribbean Airways, echoed the sentiment and affirmed the company’s commitment to collaborating with SLTA in meeting the evolving demands of regional travel.

Saint Lucia Achieves Record-Breaking Visitor Month with 32,110 Land-Based Arrivals

This expanded flight schedule comes on the heels of interCaribbean Airways’ recent acquisition of an Embraer 145 Jet and an ATR42-500 series turboprop, featuring seating capacities of 50 and 48, respectively. These investments will enhance the overall travel experience for passengers.

Commencing from March 1, Saint Lucia will introduce an online Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) form, aimed at streamlining and facilitating electronic processing for travelers, ensuring an even more seamless journey.

interCaribbean Airways’ extended flight offerings provide valuable connections between the eastern and western regions of the Caribbean. With twice-weekly flights linking Georgetown, Guyana and Barbados (via Antigua) to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, travelers can access convenient connecting departures to Nassau, Bahamas, Havana, Cuba, and Kingston, Jamaica.

Lyndon Gardiner, Chairman of interCaribbean Airways, emphasized the enhanced schedule options and improved intra-regional travel, enabling greater connectivity among the islands. Gardiner reaffirmed the airline’s dedication to expanding services in the Eastern Islands of the Caribbean, where travelers have faced challenges in air travel due to the pandemic. Exciting news and additional destinations are on the horizon, promising an enriching travel experience throughout the year.

As Saint Lucia takes significant steps to support the travel industry’s recovery, these developments highlight the destination’s commitment to providing enhanced connectivity, convenience, and a seamless experience for visitors exploring the beauty and wonders of the Caribbean.

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