Saint Lucia enters the new year poised for continued tourism growth as the island celebrates an impressive six percent increase in total visitor arrivals in 2014 over 2013, with nearly 340,000 visitors. Equally impressive, the island reported seven record breaking months – February, March, April, June, October, November and December, demonstrating year round demand for the destination. The top markets to Saint Lucia each reported healthy gains. The U.S., the island’s leading market commanding nearly half (42 percent) of arrivals, saw a strong 11 percent growth over 2013. The second largest market, the United Kingdom, saw four percent increase in 2014 over 2013; while Canada, the fourth largest market for Saint Lucia, also saw a double-digit increase in arrivals of 15 percent in 2014. Airlift to Saint Lucia also increased a combined 14 percent overall in 2014 with 10 percent from the US, 14 percent from the UK and 18 percent from Canada, and an expected increase in airlift in 2015 of 14 percent.
The growing reputation of the diverse hotels, and the island of Saint Lucia as a sought-after destination was further strengthened by the more than 100 awards and accolades received from Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best List and Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List to the coveted “Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination” by World Travel Awards. Saint Lucia found itself in the spotlight once again as the finale destination for ABC’s The Bachelor and as a centerpiece of Sports Illustrated’s coveted 50th anniversary swimsuit issue. Overall, top source markets to the island reported stay-over arrivals of more than 340,000 in 2014, a nearly six percent increase over 2013, reported Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. From acclaimed events and festivals, such as the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, to investments in new and enhanced hotels and tourism products, Saint Lucia is poised for continued growth in the coming year. “Partnership is key to keeping the momentum strong for Saint Lucia’s marketing efforts,” said Lewis. “We work closely with our hotel and product partners, travel agent partners, tour operators, and airlines, to harness ideas and resources for the success of the overall destination.”