Saint Lucia’s first quarter figures show that the destination is experiencing a period of robust growth trend, building on a record-setting year of 2017.
Stay over arrivals increased by 9.5 per cent 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, Saint Lucia has registered 355,821 cruise passenger arrivals, an increase of 13.5 per cent over the same period last year.
The berth extension at Pointe Seraphine is credited, in part, for the significant increases in cruise passenger arrivals, as the island’s capacity to accommodate larger vessels has expanded.
The mega vessel MS Eurodam 2008 and the Freedom Class vessel Anthem of the Seas made their first port calls in Castries on January 2018 and, on May 16, 2018, Saint Lucia welcomed another Freedom Class Vessel from Royal Caribbean – the Freedom of the Seas – which has a capacity of 6000 and follows a 21-day port call schedule.
The island has also experienced a resurgence in the yachting sector with a 25 per cent increase in yacht arrivals across all ports of entry, namely IGY Rodney Bay, Marigot Bay, and Soufriere.
“We have run an aggressive and focussed marketing campaign over 2017 and into 2018”, stated Saint Lucia Tourism Authority executive chairperson, Agnes Francis. “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 this year, Saint Lucia will see an even greater growth as we continue to refine our marketing."