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Saint Lucia Enjoys Record Level Arrivals in 2010; Saint Lucia Tourist Board
Highlights New Hotel Openings, Renovations and Attractions

 
Saint Lucia (October, 2010) – With year-to-date arrivals showing a 16% increase over 2009, the Saint Lucia Tourist Board is poised for one of its strongest years on record and 2011 is on track to continue the growth with major on-island developments including hotel openings, new attractions and major renovations.

SLTB’s Regional Marketing Manager Lorine Charles St-Jules shared the arrivals statistics and development news with travel agency partners in New York City at an event on October 6 that was the culmination of a 20-city Road Show that reached over 1600 agents across the U.S., more than 300 in the greater New York region alone.  The SLTB promoted the island to the travel agent community under the theme "Live the Legend," which highlights the uniqueness and authenticity of the destination's products, services and attractions.  Following New York, the Tourist Board moves onto Canada where the road shows continue this month.

“The travel agent community is an extremely important partner and a major contributor to our success,” said SLTB’s Director of Tourism Louis Lewis. “The Tourist Board is strengthening our commitment to our travel agency partners with enhanced education and sales and marketing efforts, and we look forward to working even more closely together to welcome new visitors to the island this year.”

Fifteen hotels and several Tour Operators including Travel Impressions, Classic Vacations, Gogo Worldwide Vacations, Island Destinations and MLT Vacations hosted roundtables at the NYC Road Show. The agents were informed of Saint Lucia’s new Travel Agent Specialist Program, which offers in-depth knowledge of Saint Lucia to effectively sell the island as a Saint Lucia specialist.

Hotel Projects:

Among the key hotel developments on-island is the opening of the new Hotel Chocolat. Opening late 2010, this boutique hotel is set in The Rabot Estate, a working cocoa estate. The property will feature a Pool Clubhouse, Massage Pavilion and beach access among other amenities.

The Jalousie Plantation is undergoing a US$100 million enhancement to re-brand and re-launch as The Tides, Sugar Beach in 2011. The resort is developing a new Rainforest Spa with tree house treatment rooms to be completed October 2010.

Also recently announced, Royal by Rex Resort will undergo a full, multimillion-dollar renovation. It is refurbishing all of its suites with new bathrooms, furniture and flat-screen TV's. Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort is finishing a $500,000 refurbishment to 20 of its stylish and expansive villas. Additionally, The Landings has new rooms coming on line in 2011. 


Just 14 Cocoa Pod Cottages and Villas make up the exclusive
guest accommodation at Hotel Chocolat.

Island Developments:

A new 30,000 square foot casino will open in January in Rodney Bay Village in Gros Islet near Pigeon Island, approximately 10 miles north of Castries, Saint Lucia's capital. The casino, the first on the island, will feature 350 slot machines and 14 game tables. The Casino is connected to the  Baywalk Mall, which will soon be fully opened.

Additionally, early next year will begin the US$140 million redevelopment project of the Hewanorra International Airport project, which will meet the needs of Saint Lucia’s growing travel market. The facility will emphasize a Caribbean concept, featuring ample light, open spaces and greenery. Larger, energy efficient terminals, modern check-in counters, wider baggage carousels and a greater variety of duty free shops, eating establishments and banking services are all in the plan. 

Special Events:

The island is getting ready to host the 25th edition of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) from November 21 to December 19, 2010.  This also marks Saint Lucia’s 20th anniversary of playing host to the finishing leg of the world’s largest trans-ocean event.

“The feedback from the travel agent community has been very positive-- they want to learn more about the island and to send more visitors to our shores which is great news for us.  We have to thank them for their part in helping to grow arrivals to Saint Lucia,” said Nerdin St. Rose, SLTB’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With the launch of a dedicated Travel Specialist Program and new seasonal marketing and destination advertising programs, the SLTB is fully committed to supporting the travel agent community.”

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia call 1-800 456-3984, or visit www.saintlucianow.com

About Saint Lucia 
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies' Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the eastern Caribbean archipelago. The "Helen of the West Indies," Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - a tropical rainforest and one of the world's few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia's wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties.

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Contact: 

Melissa Rubin
212-229-0119
Rubin@redpointpr.com
 

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Also See: Resort Renovations, New Flights Expected to Boost Tourism in Saint Lucia / March 2010
Developments Like Le Paradis Adding to the Economic Transformation on St. Lucia / October 2006
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