PRESS RELEASE: (Tuesday, 06 February 2018) In continued efforts to promote the island and its tourism product, a Saint Lucia contingent consisting of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) representatives and the Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting Honorable Dominic Fedee attended the 2018 Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace held in Puerto Rico, January 30 to February 1, 2018.
Executive Chairperson of the SLTA Agnes Francis who attended the Caribbean’s largest annual marketing event expressed her pleasure with the reception with which the destination was received. She stated: “we had more requests for meetings than we had time to fulfil, with tour operators, travel agents, airlines, MICE and media buyers all excited about the destination’s tourism direction and outlook.” The CHTA Caribbean Market Place provides the opportunity for tourism suppliers to meet face-to-face with wholesalers from around the world, who sell Caribbean vacations.
The SLTA used the opportunity to gain valuable market insights and strengthen industry relationships. Many of the attending tour operators, indicated that Saint Lucia ended 2017 positively and is pacing ahead for 2018 with some projecting the destination as much as 40% ahead. The tour operators were also interested in joint marketing efforts, and promotions for the upcoming summer travel.
SLTA Marketing Director-USA stated that “This is great news for the destination. We are hoping to keep the momentum going and increase sales for 2018 especially with regards to summer travel.”
The SLTA is currently considering several proposals for joint marketing, reservation training and hosted dinners within the coming months as part of its marketing and promotions with its tour operators and airlines partners.
The Saint Lucia contingent also conducted a press conference entitled ‘Update Saint Lucia’. Several media houses were in attendance including Jax Fax, Travel Magazine, USA Today, Huffington Post, Travel Weekly, Caribbean News digital, Travel Times, Jetset Magazine, Travelmole, Amazon Prime Studios, Fox, Recommend, Tropic Travel Zachstoval.com, Caribbean Today, Travel Agent Central, and SuccessfulMeetings.com. Executive Chairperson Agnes Francis provided an update on the destination’s marketing direction and rebranding, while Minister Fedee discussed the destinations improvements and his administration’s commitment to the development of tourism and the country. The general hotel update was provided by the President of the SLHTA Sanovnik Destang with Rich Cortese Senior Vice President Caribbean Operations & Development for Aimbridge Hospitality representing the Harbor Club given an opportunity to introduce the newest property on the island to the media. Other hotels also provided updates and offer prizes to the media in attendance.