2010 visitor arrivals surpass 2006 high

Saint Lucia (February 16, 2011) – The Saint Lucia Tourist Board reports record stay-over arrivals for 2010, achieving the highest number of arrivals in the island’s history representing 10% increase over 2009. According to Tourism Director Louis Lewis, these results are particularly impressive because of several threats that impacted the industry in 2010 including the passage of Hurricane Tomas in the fourth quarter, the Icelandic ash cloud in April and bad weather in major source markets in December.

The successes recorded in the first nine months of the year heavily contributed to the overall total stay-over arrivals of 305,937 for an increase of 10% from 2009 -- 1% higher than recorded in 2006, the second best year to date. The US remained the largest source market, accounting for 42% of arrivals, while the UK market captured the second largest share at 22%, followed by the Caribbean market at 18% and Canada at 10%.

Lewis noted that last year’s successes were attributed in part, “To the strategic approach to marketing and promoting the destination,” and noted that, “The SLTB stands ready to build on these targeted marketing strategies throughout 2011 to achieve even greater results.”

Year-to-date cruise passenger arrivals totaled 670,043, a 4.2% decrease from 2009. Visitor arrivals by yacht grew marginally over 2009, with a 0.2% increase recorded at IGY Rodney Bay Marina.

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.