Saint Lucia has recorded its best performance ever in visitor arrivals, as it welcomed 1,218,294 visitors in 2018, representing a 10.2% increase over 2017 (which was also a record-setting year for the island).
Industry figures are up across the board led by the yachting sector with a 25.9% increase over last year’s numbers. Cruising is up by 13.6% and stay-over arrivals increased by 2.2%.
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee highlighted some of the steps taken to reposition Saint Lucia’s tourism product to compete among other leading destinations.
“We have a very small tourism marketing budget – around US$13 million – so we have to ensure that our efforts are targeted,” said Fedee. “We use a scientific approach to select the areas where we can reach the most visitors with the highest net-worth in our marketing campaigns. For us, these areas are, predominantly, in the north-eastern USA (the Tri-state and Boston), the south-east UK region of London and its surrounding suburbs and the Greater Toronto area in Canada.”
Stayover arrivals from Canada were recorded at 40,218 year to date, an increase of 4% during the month of December. Canada is the third largest inbound market for visitor arrivals to Saint Lucia.