23 Feb 2018

2017 heralded a record-breaking year for tourism in Saint Lucia, with over one million, three hundred visitors to the island. According to Minister in the Ministry of Tourism, Hon. Dominic Fedee, this was as a direct result of the efforts made in the various sub sectors of the Industry.

“The cruise ships not only increased in size, but by the number of calls they made to our destination,” he said. “Stay over arrivals created history by generating for the first time 386,127 visitors or an 11 percent improvement over 2016; while the cruise sector yielded 668,303 visitors, or a 14 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Yacht arrivals also had encouraging numbers at 48,737 visitors.”

Minister Fedee said all of Saint Lucia’s major tourism markets performed phenomenally, with the United States in the lead. He added that the Government of Saint Lucia will do all in its power to encourage the citizenry to maximize the economic opportunities from tourism particularly given the many hotel projects proposed for 2018 and beyond.

“In many ways this will be the year of linkage for our government as our policy shifts towards increasing more sites and attractions, and encouraging Saint Lucians to continue to grow the number of non-traditional accommodations. We are undertaking the process as well to reconfigure the institutional arrangements that govern the tourism sector. To this end we have made tremendous headway in trying to establish the National Tourism Council which will encourage greater cohesion in the management of the tourism industry, as we seek to encourage greater levels of participation and cooperation between departments in the civil service and the private sector.”

The Tourism Minister also spoke of the significant advancement that has been made in establishing ‘Village Tourism Incorporated’. This new entity is expected to become operational by the third quarter of 2018, and will ensure that the towns and villages make better use of their potential.