Saint Lucia is shifting its tourism focus to the United States following the announcement of a COVID-19 lockdown in the Britain, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced.
“We were just in the process of launching a major campaign in the UK, so we are going to shift our emphasis as quickly as possible to the US market that continues to remain open,” the former Tourism Minister told reporters Monday.
Chastanet explained that despite an increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States, the protocols this country has instituted of having persons pretested before they come here as well as other measures, have proved very successful.
“We have a lot of confidence in what we are doing and the ability to coexist with those markets,” he asserted.
Chastanet observed that not only the UK, but Germany and France have also announced lockdowns, suspending domestic and international travel.
“We are still working at some of the details in terms of the tourists that are here,” the PM told reporters.
“My understanding is that once the airlines continue to fly, persons who are already here will be allowed to go back into the UK – this is for a 30-day period, obviously in the first instance and depending on how successful the lockdown is, I guess they will report back to us, to the world, as to what their intentions are,” Chastanet stated.
He said Saint Lucia continues to persevere.
According to the PM, he spent the weekend preparing meetings with the major US airlines to see if Saint Lucia can get an increase in airlift coming out of the US.
“The reason for that is you know, Royalton Hotel, LeSport, Windjammer, Coconut Bay – all opened up this weekend, so we do have an excess of room capacity that the UK was going to fill quite significantly,” he revealed.
Chastanet described the UK COVID-19 lockdown announcement as a clear setback.
“It is for 30 days. Let’s hope that the policies they put in place do work and the UK can get back on track as quickly as possible,” he declared.