Saint Lucia marches on with three major trade initiatives

Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia

The Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia has topped all visitor records last year, paving the way for Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) to introduce three new trade initiatives.

Dubbed as the ‘fairest isle on earth’, the Island of Saint Lucia has some of the world’s most picturesque natural beauty. Even with its remote island feel, the small nation is easily accessible, with daily international flights from the US, weekly flights from Canada and Europe, along with other regional flights.

According to SLTA, tourism figures for 2017 topped all records, with total visitor arrivals reaching an all-time high of more than 1.1 million. With 2018 continuing to show growth, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) has introduced three new trade initiatives.

“We need to work closely with our trade partners”

Patricia Charlery-Leon, director at SLTA UK & Ireland, said; “We are in a very fortunate position as tourism arrivals from the UK are increasing. But we can’t just sit and hope that this continues. We need to work closely with our trade partners to showcase and sell the amazing things you can experience on a holiday in Saint Lucia.”

Online Training Portal

Revamped to be more interactive using the latest technology, the existing programme has been reviewed and refined to meet global standards. The relaunch comprises of five training modules with additional video content, webinars, and a better management system for fam trip requests. This was added alongside its original campaign material including updates, fact sheets, maps and images.

Currently, there are about 2,700 agents who have completed the original training. There will be a refresher course each December, to elevate their statuses from ‘specialists’ to ‘experts’. These experts who make bookings will go into SLTA’s quarterly draws with a chance to win a place at the Inspiro Awards taking place in Saint Lucia in June 2019. The awards recognise the best producers from the UK, US and Canada.

Summer of Discovery

Running from 25 June until 30 September 2018, the Summer of Discovery is the island’s biggest and most interactive summer promotion ever. A prize draw of USD 10,000 is up for grabs for anyone visiting Saint Lucia this season. To enter, all holidaymakers need to do is capture a selfie at one of the 25 iconic sites and attractions that have been chosen.

In addition, visitors can receive up to 65% discount on accommodations, with 12 tour operators taking part including Tropical Sky, Trailfinders, LetsGo2, Caribtours, Elegant Resorts, The Villa Collection, Inspiring Travel Company, The Holiday Place, Tropic Breeze, Caribbean Warehouse, BestAtTravel and Luxury Holidays Direct.

Saint Lucia Agent Months (SLAM)

To reward travel agents who are vital to the success of Saint Lucia’s thriving tourism industry, SLTA has launched its annual travel incentive programme, called Saint Lucia Agent Months (SLAM). The goal of SLAM is to showcase Saint Lucia to visiting travel agents from June to the end of November. It includes special rates on flights through Virgin Atlantic along with accommodation, tours and attractions, hotel transfers, airline tickets and dining options.

Travel agents also get the opportunity to conduct hotel site inspections in a wide range of participating properties. This is to let them experience all that Saint Lucia has to offer in their own personal time.

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