Cruise recovery is strong for Saint Lucia
The Canadian market is back and coming in hot to Saint Lucia. Notably, Canadian arrivals into Saint Lucia have more than doubled from 2022.
“Globally, we are nearing pre-covid levels for St. Lucia — we continue to see a remarkable rebound in visitor arrivals,” Lorine Charles-St. Jules, Chief Executive Officer, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, shared during a destination update at the recent SOTIC conference in Turks and Caicos. “As far as Canada, we have seen quite a jump in arrivals because we had full summer service this year.”
Overall, by the end of July 2023, Saint Lucia recorded a 12% increase over the same period in 2022 and a recovery of 89% of 2019’s year-to-date July figures. January and May were the closest months to 2019’s record figures, as arrivals were down only 1% and 3%.
Charles-St. Jules highlighted that the redevelopment of the Hewanorra International Airport is already underway. The initial phase of the project started with the construction of a state-of-the-art Air Traffic Control Tower, which is slated to debut in February 2024.
“The plans are well in foot to have a complete state-of-the-art airport in about 2.5-3 years,” she added.
Among some of the existing projects in the pipeline is Secrets St. Lucia Resort & Spa, a 351-room property scheduled to open in June, 2024.
“That is a luxury adults-only hotel,” she noted, adding that the property was previously the St. James’s Club Morgan Bay.
Also slated to open in 2024 is Cas en Bas Beach Resort, the first Destination by Hyatt branded resort and residences on Saint Lucia.
Meanwhile, she noted that Windjammer Landing also recently underwent a major renovation.
As for the current cruise season, which kicked off on Oct. 8, Saint Lucia expects to see 400+ cruise calls, bringing some projected 600,000 visitors.
“By September next year, we will be at pre-covid levels — we would have surpassed 2019 levels,” she said. “The cruise sector is really, really back on track.”
Finally, a new incentives program called Helen’s Rewards has just been launched, aiming to get visitors to return to Saint Lucia.