Castries, Saint Lucia: The Ministry of Tourism is gearing up for the commencement of a new cruise season starting in October. In preparation, the ministry hosted a dialogue with stakeholders about impending changes.
Tourism Officer, Samantha Charles, said the objective is to attain an improved visitor experience.
“Among the discussion points were updated cruise protocols which have been relaxed, port logistics and generally anything that affects or contributes to the visitor experience in the cruise sector. We’re hoping that coming from this meeting, we have an idea as to what areas we can strengthen to enhance the experience for our cruise passengers.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Lorine Charles, highlighted the importance of the cruise sector to the economy.
“The cruise sector is a very competitive sector in that many Caribbean islands depend on the cruise sector for economic development, and Saint Lucia is no exception. We depend on the cruise sector to assist, especially our small businesses and axillary services, so that these services can grow.”
The ministry is working assiduously to ensure a safe commencement of the season with the arrival of the Celebrity Equinox on Oct. 12.
Earlier, The Ministry of Tourism also announced that Saint Lucia witnessed the arrival of Celebrity Millennium and started the commencement of 2022/2023 cruise season. The season started on Wednesday, October 12, 2022.
Since the sector’s re-opening in 2021 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the island recorded a total of three hundred and seventeen (317) cruise calls and welcomed two hundred and forty thousand, five hundred and sixty-seven (240,567) cruise passengers onto the shores of Saint Lucia during the period June 2021 to September 2022.
As the sector remains a high priority in driving demand for Saint Lucia as a tourism Destination, the Ministry of Tourism anticipates a robust season where various sub-sectors including sites and attractions, local waterbased sector, food and beverage, tourism transportation and recreation will have yet another opportunity to reap the economic benefits from the cruise sector.