Saint Lucia continues to experience a full-fledged tourism boom so far in 2019, according to the latest numbers released by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.
The Eastern Caribbean island reported a total of 21,608 stayover visitors in September, a 15 percent increase over the same month in 2018 that was actually the largest percentage increase of any month this year.
The sizzling September followed seven record-breaking months of visitor arrival increases so far this year, leading to what is one of the fastest growth rates of any destination in the Caribbean in 2019.
Tourism officials called the September jump “unprecedented,” surpassing a record set in 2017 by more than 1,000 visitors.
Saint Lucia’s growth came in large part due to a 15 percent jump in arrivals from the United States market, or about 1,156 additional visitors.
Crucially, that increase despite “no major difference in airlift” from the US market.
“While we welcome the increases, we will not stop in exploring every possible avenue, program, policy or niche that will keep us top of mind in the marketplace so as to drive visitor arrivals to our destination,” said Saint Lucia Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee.
All of the island’s other source markets saw similar double-digit increases (with the exception of the United Kingdom), with France and Canada leading at 52 percent and 43 percent, respectively.
It’s a boon for an island that has been successfully drawing more visitors, more airlift and new hotel development in recent years, adding to a destination that has long been one of the Caribbean’s most romantic places to visit.
The most recent was the announcement this summer of the new Cabot Saint Lucia golf resort development, a project that could change the face of Caribbean golf and create a new luxury pole at the far north of Saint Lucia.