Saint Lucia predicts strong tourist arrivals – NationNews Barbados –


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The Pitons, Saint Lucia. (DEPOSIT)

CASTRIES – The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) predicted a “very strong” month for tourist arrivals here on Wednesday after the island saw an increase of more than 34% in arrivals.

SLTA said that as the tourism economy continues to rebound gradually with visitor arrivals, the island welcomed 21,357 visitors, an increase of 7,018 arrivals over May figures as the island is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID019).

He said that compared to 2019, the US market almost fully recovered as one of the strongest months on record with 92% of visitor arrivals.

“The UK market is also showing significant growth, amounting to 4% of arrivals both for June 2021 and year-to-date. By increasing travel opportunities from this market, the UK has also officially lifted the return quarantine from Amber Countries for fully vaccinated travelers. “

SLTA said June saw the introduction of an inaugural, high-performance weekly flight from Dallas, Texas, and the reintroduction of service from New York with American Airlines, as well as the re-establishment of services. cruise to the destination with 414 passengers. He said ancillary service providers to the cruise industry are also reporting a good month with increased activity, especially in the areas of shore excursions and pleasure cruises.

Tourism authorities here said that since the introduction of expanded access for visitors and fully immunized nationals, across the island, accommodation providers are reporting moderate to high occupancy levels, with several operating at the fully recommended capacity, which has a positive impact on all classifications of the stock of rooms.

“To date, the tourism sector has more than eight thousand people re-employed since restrictions were relaxed amid the pandemic. All efforts are focused on reintegrating more employees during this difficult time and seeing more visitors crossing our shores, which ultimately means a direct injection into our local economy, ”said the Minister of Tourism, Dominic Fedee.

The SLTA said it “is planning very strongly for July” and has so far welcomed the introduction of a new non-stop service from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

He said it was an additional flight that provides better access and connectivity to the tri-state area of ​​New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and by extension Philadelphia.

“By increasing access to Saint Lucia, regional carriers like Intercaribbean, LIAT and Air Sunshine are already contributing to the increase in air travel this summer. Air Sunshine has also added direct connections from Sainte-Croix and Saint-Kitts to the destination.

SLTA said the resumption of inter-island ferry services between the French island of Martinique and Saint Lucia, and the recent announcement by Trinidad and Tobago to reopen its borders on July 17, are in order. bodes well for the local industry.

“With access to more gateways coupled with the ease of the travel registration process and direct services to the island, more and more visitors are making Saint Lucia their destination of choice for romance, getaways. with family, culinary experiences, adventures, business, sports, international film sets and much more, ”added SLTA. (CMC)

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