St Lucia plans to restart familiarisation (fam) trips next year to showcase its attractions to the United Kingdom trade.
New Tourism Minister Dr Ernest Hilaire was in the UK last week to attend World Travel Market London, supporting the work of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority and meeting trade partners.
He told Travel Weekly: “We want to restart fams in 2022, to reacquaint people with the brand and our niches such as romance tourism, and to see what’s new. Fams are very important to us to allow partners to have direct contact with the product.”
He said the UK is the second largest market for the island after America and is currently served by British Airways and Tui.
Virgin Atlantic will start flights on 18 December, flying three times a week from Heathrow. Visitor numbers from the UK have risen steadily since overseas tourism restarted in the summer, with 2,500 arrivals in July and 6,000 in October.
He said there are projects on the island to restore and protect habitats such as mangroves, reefs and beaches and more emphasis on nature-based activities such as hiking and birdwatching.