SAINT LUCIA — The Saint Lucia Tourist Board’s annual travel agent incentive program SLAM (Saint Lucia Agent Months) is gearing up for a July start. Now in its seventh year, SLAM’s aim is to showcase Saint Lucia to visiting travel agents so that they have an intimate knowledge of the island. It is also an opportunity for the agents to conduct site inspections at various hotels.
“Travel agents are vital to the success of any tourist destination, a fact that the Saint Lucia Tourist Board never loses sight of,” says the SLTB. The SLAM promotion runs through Nov. 30 and includes special rates on accommodations, tours and attractions.
A wide range of hotels and resorts are participating in SLAM and they include: Alize Inn, Anse Chastanet, BLU St. Lucia, BodyHoliday Saint Lucia, Coco Palm, Fond Doux Plantation & Resort, Harmony Suites, Hotel Chocolat, Jade Mountain, La Dauphine Estate, Marigot Beach Club & Dive Resort, Rendezvous, St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort, Ti Kaye Resort & Spa and Villa Beach Cottages.
Travel agents can also take advantage of tours and attractions provided by Rainforest Forest Sky Rides/Adventures St. Lucia, Botanical Gardens and Diamond Falls among others.
SLTB’s Director of Marketing – USA, Kelly Fontenelle-Clarke, lauds SLAM as “a great way for the travel agents to experience the destination while they get updated on all the product offerings that Saint Lucia has to offer their clients”. An added bonus of SLAM is that agents can save 50-70% off published fares via WestJet Vacations when they book and travel by Dec. 15. Blackout dates will apply. Interested agents should call WestJet at 1-877-664-3205 to take advantage of the airline’s travel agent discount program.
For more information about SLAM click on the Travel Trade link at stlucia.org.
Saint Lucia’s tourism sector is poised to undergo significant expansion within the next few years. A number of major hotel projects will see the island’s tourism room stock increase by 2,000 rooms over the next four years. Already for this year, the Royalton Saint Lucia Resort and Spa has opened its doors with 455 rooms in two hotels one catering to families and the other, adults only. Serenity Villas at Coconut Bay Resort, has also unveiled its 36 luxury villas and the Harbour Club is to open in September with 117 rooms.
Work will begin on the Fairmont Saint Lucia Resort in Sabwisha, Choiseul in September this year. This resort will be a unique space that integrates local nature, a low-rise building complex and a wide range of recreational facilities. The hotel will include 120-five-star hotel rooms, 37 villas, three restaurants, a spa, commercial areas for local producers and traders and three swimming pools.
The Reduit beach will be redeveloped and will become the home of a luxury five-star dual branded hotel called Curio by Hilton. This property will be built where the Rex Resorts was previously located. The Curio by Hilton will feature 500 luxury rooms; 350 rooms assigned to the Hilton and 150 assigned to the Curio by Hilton. Work on this property will begin within the last quarter of 2017.
Work should also commence on the Honeymoon Bay Resort in Cannelles very soon, says the SLTB. This resort will consist of two hotels. The first is a 250-room 5-star luxury, family all-inclusive hotel and the second is an 80-room, 5-star luxury hotel. This resort will feature an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse and a museum.
Meanwhile Range Developments signed an agreement with Saint Lucia’s government to acquire the Black Bay lands and develop Black Bay into an integrated master planned luxury touristic community. The Black Bay Master Development will consist of a luxury branded hotel and villas with other amenities set on 180 acres on the southern tip of the island. The hotel is expected to have 180 rooms and will be the central anchor of the Black Bay Master Development. Initial site works are expected to commence in the fourth of quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018 and the hotel is expected to be complete by the end of 2020.
Sandals Resorts International has confirmed plans to add a fourth resort on Saint Lucia. The property will offer 350 rooms and suites inclusive of the exotic Sky Pool Butler Suites, all-butler signature swim-up Rondoval Suites and an infinity-edge sky pool bar. Groundbreaking for the project is set to begin in 2018.
In addition to hotel developments the island is also looking to create and capitalize on the concept of village tourism. Eight fishing villages will be transformed into unique tourism villages based on their attributes and strengths, says the SLTB.