Saint Lucia stands to benefit from an increasing number of visitors this year, particularly within the first quarter, as the island remains a popular Caribbean destination with US travelers.
Travel Pulse has reported that the island is dubbed a ‘Hot’ Caribbean destination and said Donscenz named “St. Lucia, Jamaica and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic” as “still our big sellers.”
While Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are annually among the most popular islands, Saint Lucia is one of several other Caribbean destinations that have established strong land-based visitor segments.
Leading resort operators echoed the positive early results.
Tammy Gonzalez, chief executive officer of Unique Vacations Inc., an affiliate of Sandals Resorts International (SRI) said, “We are off to a tremendous start with bookings pacing ahead of this same time period for 2016.”
“The result is a strong first two quarters for 2017. In fact, bookings across both the Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts brands are ahead year over year,” she said.
Meanwhile, President of Travel Impressions Scott Wiseman said Caribbean bookings are solid through the first quarter of 2017 and they are on pace for a very successful second quarter with bookings already ahead compared to this point in 2016.
“Occupancy for our major hotel partners is also meeting or exceeding expectations,” he said, attributing the increased activity to “an improved economic outlook in many U.S. feeder markets.”
Weisman noted that the company’s wide selection in all-inclusive options in destinations like Saint Lucia have helped persuade many other travelers that this area is too good to miss.
International tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 to reach a total of 1,184 million, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. The Caribbean saw a 7 percent growth.