TORONTO — Saint Lucia had a stellar month in March, recording its highest stayover arrivals since the restart of the travel industry from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stayover visitors for the month totalled 32,110, up 21% on the forecasted figure, bringing the total arrivals year to date (January to March) to 80,811.
The March figures put Saint Lucia in the top five performers in the Caribbean. The island is also the only country in the Eastern Caribbean in the top five.
This is in line with UNWTO’s latest report, which found that the Caribbean region is leading the world in the recovery of stopover arrivals. The region’s recovery rate sits at 61.5%, comparing 2022 to 2019, which is almost double the total global rate of 32.9%.
According to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), the Canadian market continues to show steady growth when compared to the same period for 2020 and 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, Canada had 6% of total visitor arrivals to the destination. Marketing, public relations and sales efforts across Canada continue to drive demand as Canadian airlines have extended their flight schedules into the summer. Several in-person events have also been scheduled, including The Outdoor Adventure Show in late April followed by the North American Roadshow in June.
The U.S. accounts for 56.2% of total stay-over arrivals year to date in Saint Lucia, which is approximately 45,400 visitors. The UK is the island’s second largest market, with 30.3% of total stayover arrivals at almost 24,500, the highest share recorded for this market, even pre-pandemic. Visitors from the Caribbean and the rest of the world account for 7% of overall arrivals.
“The numbers are really encouraging and a testament to the people who work tirelessly in the tourism industry in Saint Lucia,” said Tourism Minister Ernest Hilaire. “Our aim is to ensure that the growth trajectory is sustainable and benefits our people through employment and income generation as well as providing the best experience for our visitors.”
To keep the momentum going, the SLTA is running a targeted marketing campaign this summer and is also promoting the revitalization of Lucian Carnival, one of the island’s priority events this year.
Saint Lucia recently eased its entry requirements, eliminating the need for pre-entry COVID-19 testing for fully vaccinated visitors. The online registration process has also been removed.
For a list of current Caribbean entry requirements, click here.
For more information about Saint Lucia go to www.stlucia.org.