The Saint Lucia Tourist Board recently hosted its sixth annual Showcase where more than 150 UK travel trade partners and specialists took part in the week-long series of events culminating in the Saint Lucia Gala Awards.
To start the programme, the tourist board unveiled plans for a global brand relaunch.
The new positioning of Saint Lucia as ‘rare’ was created by New York agency Translation, who have worked with Apple and Jay-Z. It takes its inspiration from the natural attractions and cultural heritage on the island.
Agnes Francis, executive chair of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board said; “At a time when we have seen the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on some of our sister islands, we are offering them our full support in their recovery. When we launch our new campaign, we will continue to work with our travel partners to contribute to the promotion of the Caribbean region as most of our economies rely heavily on tourism.
She continued: “We are thrilled with our new positioning. Its creativity allows us to show what’s truly different about our island. Our ultimate aim is to make the holiday experience in Saint Lucia memorable and meaningful.”
This year’s showcase event was held at the Wokefield Estate Hotel in Berkshire, with Radio and Club DJ Trevor Nelson who is of Saint Lucian heritage, as host.
Saint Lucia’s Minister of Tourism, Dominic Fedee, attended the event series and thanked UK tour operators, airlines, travel agents and industry partners for helping to keeping the island’s tourism industry buoyant and the economy moving. He shared his sympathy and grief for those islands and people affected by the recent hurricanes and reiterated the Government’s support in their recovery.
He also confirmed the ambitious development plans for Saint Lucia to provide 2,000 rooms in the next four years. Mr Fedee said: “With world-renowned hospitality brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont and Hilton committing to investing in Saint Lucia with new developments, along with Sandals creating a fourth resort, this shows the strength of what our island has to offer. We have also just agreed to support Hotel Chocolat as it expands and builds a chocolate factory on the existing site. It is in the only company in the UK to grow chocolate at its own plantation and we are honoured to be part of their success story.”
He also talked about the importance of village tourism in Saint Lucia. In addition to hotel developments, the island will create and capitalise on the concept of village tourism. Eight fishing villages will be transformed into unique tourism villages based on their attributes and strengths. These villages will be uniquely themed and development plans will be established in a participatory manner which address the villages’ infrastructure, culinary assets, architecture and capacity.
The destination has seen a rise in year-to-date stay-over arrivals of 8.9% globally. It has renewed interest from UK holidaymakers with an increase of 6% from July 2016 to July 2017.
The new brand platform will be rolled out with marketing assets and projects as the tourist board transitions to a Tourism Authority by 2018.