Tourism arrivals down in St.Lucia

The 2011 forecast for tourism in St.Lucia has shown major decreases in the areas of stay over arrivals and cruise industry.

The Tourist Board announced that the yachting sector was one of the only sectors which performed exceptional.

The Director of the Tourist Board Louis Lewis says while the numbers for stay over arrivals seem small, the loss shows in expenditure.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday – Lewis says stay over arrivals recorded a 0.4 percent decrease or thirteen hundred passengers last year.

And while the numbers may seem insignificant – he says the loss is reflected in decreased visitor spend.

Lewis says the US maintained its position as the island’s largest source market despite a four percent reduction in air lift from that country.

Meanwhile – the introduction of new flights into Montreal Canada led to an increase in arrivals from that country.

The United Kingdom – Saint Lucia’s other major source market was described as challenging due to the continuing effects of the APD.

Cruise arrivals were also down – with a six percent decline of forty thousand visitors recorded. As a result – special focus will be placed on developing cruise business.

The St. Lucia Tourist Board is taking a hard look at the 2011 performance. Lewis says a number of programs will be implemented to ensure arrivals improve in the coming year.