St. Lucia’s Tourism Minister returns from successful UK trip

ST. LUCIA – St. Lucia’s Minister for Tourism, Senator the Honourable Allen Chastanet, has returned from a trip to the UK as part of the observance of Saint Lucia Month in London, and from all indications, the UK market is a promising one for St. Lucia’s tourism product.

Minister Chastanet was joined by representatives of the St. Lucia Tourist Board and the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association. They met with tour operators within the UK and were present during the last week of March for the culmination of events for St. Lucia Month. This included the annual Awards Dinner, given in honour of outstanding tourism partners.

Honourable Allen Chastanet

“The backdrop of us going up to London this year, is clearly that England has been very buoyant for St. Lucia, and we’ve seen that in the numbers that we’re seeing – almost 18% growth in the U.K. Market up until February. All indications are that the UK market will continue or has continued to strengthen which I think is a combination of two things: the weakening of the US dollar over the last 18 months, as well as the increased amount of funds that we have been spending in that particular market,” said Chastanet.

The minister said his visit included a number of meetings with key partners including airlines and developers. He announced that a new Virgin Airlines flight out of Manchester will begin serving St. Lucia this summer. In addition, British Airways will return to St. Lucia, providing non-stop service between London and the island, beginning October 27 of this year.

“There is” the minster said “a substantial amount of money that is being spent on a joint marketing program with British Airways and St. Lucia.” “They have reported that they have advertised seats for sale about three weeks ago and that the flights for November, December, and January are almost entirely sold out already. They are extremely ecstatic about the results that they’ve got.”

Minister Chastanet indicated that his ministry is currently collaborating with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays in promoting the Manchester flight. He says efforts are being made to capture the market in Chester, a town close to the city of Manchester whose residents are known to be wealthy.

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