SAINT LUCIA (November 22, 2010) - After a successful year for the tourism sector, Saint Lucia's hotels and resorts are sharing an optimistic outlook for the new year.

"2011 is starting out strong and in fact, we're seeing a 10% increase in forward bookings compared to this time last year including in Saint Lucia, where we expect a terrific winter season," said Gordon "Butch" Stewart, Chairman of Sandals Resorts which operates three resorts on the island.

"People are itching to travel and are looking for experiences that exceed their expectations and our three resorts in Saint Lucia have never been better and are ready with their luxury included offerings to do just that," Stewart added.

"Our faith is strong, our hotels, resorts and attractions are strong, and while we dust ourselves off in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas, Saint Lucia is focused on ending 2010 on an extremely positive note," said an encouraged Senator Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation.

The Landings St. Lucia, a member of the RockResorts family of resort hotels, remained open during last month's hurricane and stayed open due to their professional and dedicated staff who themselves were dealing with the storm's impacts on their personal homes and lives.

"At The Landings, St. Lucia, we are extremely thankful to our entire team for their dedication and commitment to each other, to our guests and to the island of Saint Lucia. Due to the team's efforts and the hard-working efforts of the Saint Lucian island community, we are thrilled to be welcoming guests to our spectacular resort. We feel the spirit and charm of Saint Lucia are stronger than ever and look forward to continuing to provide an exceptional RockResorts experience to our guests," read a statement from The Landings.

Homeowners of The Landings, as well as RockResorts and Vail Resorts employees from Vail to Santa Fe to Miami have contributed to a fund to help employees on the island.

"We expect to make an even stronger contribution to Saint Lucia's socio-economic development in the new year through strong public-private sector and community partnerships and an unrelenting commitment to excellence - the journey has just begun," Minister Chastanet added.

For further information, contact the nearest Saint Lucia Tourist Board office: Head Office: 1 758 452-4094; UK: 207 341-7002; USA: 1 800 456-3984 and Canada: 1 800 869-0377.

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.