Saint Lucia has its best ever tourism year

By | Category: Travel destinations

Last year the Caribbean island of St Lucia saw 1,218,294 visitors to the island a substantial increase of 10.2% over 2017 and well ahead of the average growth figures as suggested by UNWTO – the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

St Lucia

But some people will look at that figure and consider that surely the island must be very crowded given its size. This is where figures can be misleading. Although 1.2 million people visited the island, the vast majority of visitors were cruise passengers, those people that drop by for a day, explore the sights and set sail again. Cruise passengers make up 760,3016 of the 1.2 million and a further 63,596 are visitors who have travelled on yachts. Both place no strain on the accommodation on the island since they have beds on their vessels.

Those staying overnight on St Lucia amounted to 394,780, a rise of 2.2%.  Although it seems like a lot of visitors stayed on the island in fact the numbers are much less and the island remains uncrowded. There is plenty of accommodation of all sorts and no feeling of congestion.

British visitor numbers reached 76,142 putting it in second place after the USA. Unlike some countries, St Lucia isn’t targeting the whole of the UK for its future visitors. A small island has a smallish budget – in this case just $13 million –  so it is concentrating its promotional efforts on London and the south east believing that this is where it stands the best chance of attracting visitors to its shores.

 UK growth last year was 4.9%, substantially up on the average of 2.2% so despite a struggling pound and the length of the flight, we still were attracted to the island but by what?

The Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes is one major attraction but so is the beauty of the landscape as well as the beaches. That the island is one of the leading wedding and honeymoon destinations in the world also helps.  With a number of villages, towns and the capital – Castries – offering a laid-back atmosphere and good cuisine who wouldn’t want to consider St Lucia for a holiday – even if sometimes the announced visitor figures might put you off!

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