(Castries, Saint Lucia – November 22, 2021) – Following several months of strong international tourism arrivals, Saint Lucia continued the pace this weekend with a strong, early start to the winter tourism season.
“International visitors will arrive by air and sea this winter, bolstering our local economy and providing opportunities for Saint Lucians to share our culture with tourists from all over the world. With a return flight from Dallas, Texas this weekend, a grand cruise ship arrival and the kick-off of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, Saint Lucia is poised for tourism success, and we thank all our tourism partners working diligently to showcase our cultural experiences, local cuisine and renowned activities to visitors,” remarked Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire.
American Airlines Dallas Flight Returns
On Saturday, November 20, American Airlines flight 1083 from Dallas, Texas (DFW) arrived at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF). The return of this service signaled the addition of an important gateway for the upcoming season. Originating from the 4th busiest airport in the U.S., the DFW-UVF nonstop creates a greater ease of connectivity to the west and midwest regions.
“The solid performance of this service introduced last summer, evidenced by consistently strong load factors, speaks to the proven demand for Saint Lucia and sustainability of this route. The return of this service has resulted in more airlift to our destination than ever before. It’s truly an exciting time for us,” said Richard Moss, Senior Sales Manager, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.
Inaugural Cruise Ship Call
Continuing the return of cruise ship arrivals, Mein Schiff 1 of the Tui Cruise line sailed into Castries on Monday, November 22 for its inaugural arrival this season. The ship hosted 1,440 passengers, and hundreds disembarked the ship to explore local Saint Lucia offerings such as shopping excursions and tours. All passengers were subject to safety protocols such as negative Covid-19 testing prior to arrival and social distancing.
On hand was the Minister of Tourism Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilarie, along with officials from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Ministry of Tourism, Invest Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority and the Agents Platinum Port Agency St. Lucia LTD. The group welcomed the ship with a celebratory ceremony and a commemorative plaque was presented to Captain Omar Caruana.
The countdown has begun for the arrival of the 36th annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, which set sail from Grand Canaria, Spain on Monday, November 22. Some 147 yachts with more than 900 crew on board will embark on a 2,700 nautical mile transatlantic voyage to Saint Lucia. Vessels from 29 nations are expected to arrive in Saint Lucia beginning December 9, all following Covid-19 protocols including negative PCR testing before arrival.
This celebrated sporting event is a major economic contributor to the local economy and many of the tourism businesses that have been affected by the pandemic will benefit from the arrival of the yachts. Adding even more local excitement to ARC, Mr. Brad Gangardine, a Moorings Skipper from Soufriere, is assisting the owners of Discovery 50 Into the Mystic (USA) to sail their boat to Saint Lucia. Mr. Gangardine met the group on a charter holiday several years ago and is now working with their team.
For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit stlucia.org.