Saint Lucia credits cruising for continued tourism growth in 2018

Saint Lucia credits cruising for continued tourism growth in 2018

TORONTO – Saint Lucia’s tourism sector is building on its record-setting year in 2017, with Q1 2018 figures showing continued robust growth.

According to the latest figures, stay-over arrivals increased by 9.5% in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period last year, with March 2018 registering a 17.8% increase over March 2017.

Year to date, the island has registered 355,821 cruise passenger arrivals, an increase of 13.5% over the same period last year. This uptick is due in part to the berth extension at Pointe Seraphine, which allows Saint Lucia to accommodate an increase number of larger vessels.

For example, the mega vessel MS Eurodam 2008 and the Freedom Class vessel Anthem of the Seas made their first port calls in Castries in January 2018. This was closely followed by the arrival of another Freedom Class vessel from Royal Caribbean – the Freedom of the Seas – on May 16, 2018, which has a capacity f 6,000.

In addition to ocean cruising, the island has experienced a resurgence in the yachting sector, with a 25% increase in yacht arrivals across all ports of entry, namely IGY Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, and Soufriere.

“We have run an aggressive and focused marketing campaign over 2017 and into 2018,” said Agnes Francis, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority Executive Chairperson. “Working to establish our new branding, running targeted media buys and social media campaigns that increase engagement and awareness, we are starting to see the benefits of this marketing push. We believe that his year, Saint Lucia will see an even greater growth as we continue to refine our marketing.”