Saint Lucia’s friendly faces, verdant landscape and achingly beautiful Pitons greeted us last week for the 5th Annual Saint Lucia Showcase – North America, an event that connects hotels, DMCs, and tourism officials with North America-based tour operators that sell Saint Lucia as one of their primary destinations.
As part of the event, which included a full day of meetings, there was an Awards Dinner and Saint Lucia Night that took place at the newly opened Royalton Saint Lucia. Awards were handed out to top-producing tour operators—those operators booking the most travel to Saint Lucia. Air Canada Vacations took the prize for top-producing tour operator, Canada; and Travel Impressions won for top-producing tour operator, U.S. Of course, it wasn’t all business as usual, because this is, after all, Saint Lucia. Local singers serenaded the tourism officials, hotels, and DMCs, as well as the tour operators, who also went home with a “thank you gift”—a bottle of Saint Lucia 1931 rum.
The next day, Showcase participants were whisked away for a catamaran ride along the island that showcased the country’s stunningly gorgeous coastline. The sailing took the group to Marigot Bay, home to uber-fabulous Capella Marigot Bay, and to the secluded Anse Cochon cove, where Ti Kaye Resort & Spa reigns over the hillside. The secluded cove was the perfect spot for an afternoon swim, some snorkeling, and lunch—all while looking out at views that cast a spell even on the most jaded of travelers. The catamaran ride ended in historic Soufriere, which is not only the island’s original capital, but the best place to catch sight of the island’s two iconic guardians, Petit Piton and Gros Piton.
The group had only a few minutes to collectively catch their breath while standing in awe of the beauty of the Pitons before they were transferred to one of the island’s newest beauties—Serenity at Coconut Bay Resort & Spa. An evening cocktail party at the new intimate, adults-only property wrapped up the 5th Annual Saint Lucia Showcase – North America. During the evening feast—think pasta station, cucumber margaritas and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons—Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa CEO Mark Adams handed out a couple of awards to those tour operators who have worked diligently to sell Coconut Bay Resort & Spa as part of their packages. The awards went to Air Canada Vacations for its selling prowess in Canada, and to Apple Vacations for its U.S. bookings.