BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – As part of our ongoing coverage of the CTO Leadership Strategy Conference, Travel Agent attended a St. Lucia press conference Saturday morning and learned that the much-anticipated casino plans on the island will become a reality by the end of the month.
Director of Tourism Louis Lewis told Travel Agent and other media in attendance that the island will see its first-ever casino opened by the end of October at the Bay Walk Shopping Mall, and that other casinos are expected to open shortly after.
The will only add to the momentum that St. Lucia is riding as the destination is also reporting its greatest increase in arrivals in the history of tourism. Although those numbers are a bit skewed since increases from 2009 are pretty common throughout the Caribbean, the numbers even surpass figures from 2008, 2007 and earlier.
According to Lewis, arrivals are up 16 percent compared to January to September of last year with U.S. arrivals spiking a whopping 38 percent.
And agents should receive some credit for these impressive numbers, Lewis says.
“Our relationship with travel partners has really grown through road shows in the U.S. where we covered 20 cities and reached over 1,600 travel agents,” Lewis says. “The response was excellent.”