SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Saint Lucia Tourist Board is preparing for a strong start to another challenging year in tourism by participating in the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Caribbean Marketplace 2010 which opens at the new Sheraton Puerto Rico Convention Center Hotel & Casino in San Juan on Sunday.
Saint Lucia’s team is led by Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Senator Allen Chastanet and includes Permanent Secretary Titus Preville; Director of Tourism, Louis Lewis; Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Nerdin St. Rose; North American sales representative, Lorine St. Jules; and a strong delegation of hoteliers and tourism partners.
“Numerous delegates have come to San Juan to look for answers, not with the answers,” said Senator Chastanet, who noted that while Caribbean tourism is witnessing a mini-revival, economic forecasts are still indecisive and that discounting and the late bookings continue to characterize business to the region.
Some of the bright spots for Saint Lucia, Minister Chastanet believes, are a very cold winter being experienced in major source markets and increased airlift and seat capacity from North America and Europe to the island.
“We’re cautiously optimistic about what the year will produce,” added tourism director Louis Lewis, who disclosed that Saint Lucia will be trying new strategies in 2010 to contend with the new realities. “The need for creative marketing is more important than ever before, especially with the new distribution systems that are delivering business via the internet,” said Lewis, who believes Caribbean Marketplace provides an opportunity to gain additional insight into how business will be conducted in the new year.
More than 1,000 delegates are registered for the January 10-12 Caribbean Marketplace 2010 event, which offers wholesalers and tour operators the opportunity to meet with hoteliers, attractions and destination officials to plan and prepare packages to accommodate potential vacationers.
About Saint Lucia
One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties. For information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1 (888) 4-STLUCIA, or visit www.saintlucianow.com.