Saint Lucia Posts Strong First Quarter Visitor Arrivals Numbers
PHOTO: Sugar Beach in St. Lucia. (courtesy Sugar Beach)
Count Saint Lucia among Caribbean destinations posting higher 2015 visitor arrivals. Saint Lucia hosted 159,177 overnight visitor arrivals between January and May according to Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) data released this week, a five percent increase over the same period in 2014.
Saint Lucia’s arrivals are in line with a strong first quarter results for most Caribbean destinations. Visitors to the region were up six percent in the first quarter of 2015 according to CTO statstics. Saint Lucia recorded a 6.4 percent visitor increase in the first quarter of 2015.
Saint Lucia’s arrivals during the first four months of 2015 were the island’s highest ever for these months according to Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) officials. Also the 29,658 arrivals recorded in May were the highest for that month in the last five years.
As with other Caribbean destinations, Saint Lucia’s growth has been driven by an improving North American market.
Arrivals from Canada have increased 10 percent year-to-date in 2015, while U.S. arrivals have grown 9 percent. In a statement, SLTB officials attribute the increased North American visitor numbers “largely [to] the increase in airlift and strategic marketing approach within the respective markets.”
In an interesting note, Saint Lucia had its greatest percentage increase in visitor arrivals came from the Caribbean. Visitors to Saint Lucia from Caribbean destinations totaled 22,142 between January and May, a 21 percent increase over 2014.
“Improvement in the data collection method, particularly in capturing arrivals from Martinique by boat, has been attributed to this increase,” said SLTB officials.
Saint Lucia also recorded a nine percent increase in cruise ship visitor arrivals between January and April, driven by a four percent increase in cruise ship calls. 351,717 cruise ship visitors between January and April compared with 322,973 cruise arrivals during the same period in 2014.
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