TORONTO — More than anything else, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and its new CEO, Lorine Charles-St. Jules, want to say thank you.
It was a message travel advisors at last night’s STLA event high atop Hotel X in Toronto heard loud and clear.
“We’re here to say thank you for being with its through a tough couple of years,” said Charles-St. Jules. “And we wanted to say we miss you guys. We wanted to come and say it in person.”
Recovery for Saint Lucia’s tourism industry is well underway, with March 2022 arrivals numbers the highest they’ve been since the pandemic started. April arrivals were up too. “And we’re seeing strong summer bookings,” says Charles-St. Jules.
Globally visitation to Saint Lucia is still down 20%. Reinstating more lift is crucial to getting the visitor numbers to the island back up to where they should be.
The government of Saint Lucia officially removed all pre-entry COVID-19 testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers entering the country as of April 2, 2022. And on April 5, 2022, the requirement for registration and document upload (PCR tests and vaccine card) on the Saint Lucia portal was suspended until further notice.
“Just pack your bag, come see us and have fun,” says Charles-St. Jules of the relaxed requirements.
Saint Lucia remains a big draw for couples, and for destination weddings and honeymoons in particular, plus families and groups.
During the pandemic downtime, locals reconnected with the many soft adventure opportunities on the island, leading to more of a focus for soft adventure now that the destination has reopened to the world.
Earlier this year, British ultra-runner Sabrina Verjee completed Saint Lucia’s ‘three peak challenge’ – running up the island’s three highest mountains, Gros Piton, Petit Piton and Mount Gimie, in just five hours and 16 minutes. While Verjee’s accomplishment could never be considered ‘soft adventure’, her feat highlights the adventures possible in Saint Lucia’s natural wonders. The island’s waterfalls are a big attraction too.
Meanwhile the events calendar is getting back into full swing, with the world-famous Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival returning in May 2023.
More details about travel to Saint Lucia can be found at stlucia.org.