Castries, November 11, 2021- As restrictions on travel within the United Kingdom continue to ease, Minister for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture, and Information-Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, took the opportunity to visit the UK and host tourism industry discussions for well into 2022.
Attending World Travel Market London, from November 1-3, 2021, one of the most important events on the global travel industry’s calendar, the delegation met with UK airline partners British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and TUI along with leading tour operators, agents, and media.
Throughout the visit, Dr. Hilaire shared tourism developments including destination updates and new information on accommodation and excursions.
Central to the discussions was the Government’s vision to build a sustainable and competitive future for Saint Lucia’s tourism, future developments, training, and investment while expanding the island’s enchanting product offerings within our local communities, thereby creating a vibrant environment that would allow Saint Lucians to maximize the benefits of the tourism product.
The Minister was accompanied by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) Thaddeus M. Antoine who noted, “The ultimate aim is that as many Saint Lucians as possible will participate with their true ownership of our community tourism. At the same time, we will be able to add more depth to the authentic experiences for visitors. We are in a very fortunate position as tourism arrivals from the UK are recovering and showing strong growth towards pre-pandemic figures. Now is the time to transform and grow our tourism industry for the benefit of all. Our people have shown their resilience in these challenging times as we have remained open to international visitors, and we want to thank them.”
Mr. Antoine also commented: “There is a true sense of optimism in the UK market around 2022 being a successful year as travel becomes more attractive again, with restrictions having eased in the last few weeks. During our meetings, we heard positive feedback on forward bookings for the first quarter of 2022, so we need to focus our marketing efforts on pushing the second quarter and beyond.”
The Ministerial visit culminated in a reception attended by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Hon. Philip J. Pierre who was in the UK for COP 26 in Scotland. With travel specialists, media and diaspora guests present, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank the UK market for its continued support.
The destination has seen a significant increase in monthly arrivals from the UK since the easing of travel restrictions by the British Government.
SLTA has joint marketing initiatives planned with partners in the UK for the coming weeks and months, as well as its own advertising plans to stimulate demand for the destination. This includes hosting the popular Saint Lucia Showcase in 2022.