A recent Miami event hosted by the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority showcased all of the destination’s offerings to travel advisors, and, as Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, noted during the event: “When you come back, you’re going to find a new Saint Lucia.”
Getting into Saint Lucia is “seamless,” notes the CEO, with “no more protocols in place. We’re ready for your clients.” In 2021, Saint Lucia welcomed 199,347 stay-over arrivals, reflecting 52 percent more visitors than in 2020. The U.S. accounted for 76.4 percent of those visitors.
A New Saint Lucia
In spite of the pandemic, the destination is about to welcome some 1500 additional rooms, including a wellness resort in the Rodney Bay Area—Sol Sanctum. Other hotels to take note of include the Cas en Bas Beach Resort by Dream Hotel Group and the 342-room Secrets St. Lucia Resort & Spa, as well as major development for the Sandals properties, including the addition of 25 new accommodations—20 two-story villa rooms and five Rondoval suites—at Sandals Halcyon and a resort within a resort concept at Sandals Regency La Toc comprised entirely of 20 Rondoval suites with seven offering open-air rooftop decks.
Also of note is the newly launched Collection of Pepites, a collection of some 400 properties that range from villas to boutique-style accommodations. Charles-St. Jules emphasizes that these are commissionable and offer “immersive experiences. Your clients will get to live like a local—make their own chocolate or pepper sauce,” among a variety of local experiences.
Charles-St. Jules says, too, that the destination’s Community Tourism program is being reinvigorated for 2022. The program highlights authentic and immersive experiences across the island.
The tourism authority has also launched the Discover Summer, Saint Lucia Style program that extends to Sept. 30. It includes a range of savings at hotels across the destination as well with tours and excursions, offering more than 150 activities–from bathing in a sulphur spring for hours to getting some R&R along a sandy beach. For more information, visit stlucia.org/en/summer_saintlucia_style.
For this summer and beyond, festivals on the island are back—including the world-famous Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, set for May 5-14 in 2023. And for clients wanting to get a taste of Saint Lucia, know that Virgin Voyages will be sailing to the island come November.
And Richard Moss, sr. sales manager for the tourism authority, reminds advisors to recommend St. Lucia as a place that is “boutique. We are not mass tourism. We have lots of great activities. Saint Lucia is drop-dead gorgeous.”
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