By Dana Niland
The month of March is expected to be a record-breaking period in Saint Lucia’s cruise sector.
The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority said it was anticipating over 140,000 cruise visitors to the island over the course of the month.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure that Saint Lucians benefit more from these impressive numbers. A revenue committee has been established at the Tourism Council to yield greater economic penetration for our people.” said Saint Lucia Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee. “Therefore, the tremendous growth we are experiencing is a great beginning and we are committed to making this count by training our vendors and other stakeholders to focus on revenue.”
With Saint Lucia’s capacity to welcome Vista, Quantum and Freedom-Class vessels, cruise arrivals increased by 13.6 percent in 2018, according to data from the tourism authority.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization is projecting six to seven percent growth this year, continuing an upward trend that began in September 2018.
As the island moves towards what it’s calling “community-based” tourism strategies, SLTA said it was looking to expand options for cruise passengers in the near future.
That includes eight communities targeted for the development of the destination’s planned Village Tourism program, with the aim of promoting linkages between onshore businesses and other sectors of the economy.
The idea is to convert each of the communities into a tourism destination, highlighting its unique culture, cuisine, heritage and history.