Director of Tourism, Louis Lewis, has welcomed the announcement by regional carrier, LIAT, that it will remove the fuel surcharge on all tickets.
“The announcement by LIAT that there will be a removal of the fuel surcharge on the prices of tickets is definitely welcome news for Saint Lucia as a tourism destination,” Lewis said.
He noted that Saint Lucia has done “tremendous work” in the Caribbean market to promote the island.
However the Director of Tourism lamented that over the years there has been a decline in the market.
According to Lewis, the decline has been largely due to the cost of intra-regional travel and the fact that travellers are making value for money choices.
“With the removal of the LIAT fuel surcharge on tickets effect 1st March this year that will definitely give some boost to our arrival figures, making Saint Lucia a lot more attractive and affordable to visit,” he asserted.
Lewis noted that the LIAT announcement has come at a time when Saint Lucia is preparing for its annual Jazz and Arts festival.
He described the festival as this country’s “signal event”, which has a strong impact especially on the Caribbean market.
“The potential as we go forward is to continue to promote the destination and anything aimed at cost reduction, especially at a time when we see the world price of oil is declining, I think it is very important,” the Saint Lucia Director of Tourism declared.
He expressed the opinion that international carriers could follow LIAT’s lead depending on space capacity.
In announcing the removal of the fuel surcharge on all new tickets effective March 1, 2016, LIAT’s Chief Executive Officer David Evans observed that oil is now trading at a 12-year low.
Evans explained that the removal of the surcharge means that fares will fall by an average of five percent.