In this context, Travel2latam spoke with Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO de Saint Lucia.
I want to ask you your feelings about this incredible exhibition.
Thank you. World travel market for us this year was incredible. We met a lot of returning partners. We also met some new partners. I think what was great for us is the feedback on 2024. Because, you know, granted we are concerned about the UK given the fact that the economy is a little bit tightened because of what's happening as well as what's happening in the UK. And of course, what's happening, you know, outside with the war and so on in Ukraine. But we were very encouraged that our partners told us to look forward positively and that next year is looking like a strong year for us. So we encourage it to look like things are going to be good.
We are ending the year and I want to ask you how it was for you?
So this year for us was a great year. One of the good things about the year for St. Lucia, the awards that we got, the accolades that we got for the year. I think if we look at it, maybe I counted about 50 accolades between the hotels, maybe, sorry, about 100, between the destination and the hotels. And I think that speaks volumes. It says that The consumers, the trade, who have been to Saint Lucia love what they see and what they experience. So now they're saying thank you and they're giving a stamp of approval by giving us all those awards this year. So we are very excited about that part of Saint Lucia, the awards. As far as numbers, the UK is flat, you know, because as expected it's flat so far. But by the end of the year we will see a slight growth by the end of December. The US is up from 2019, we're very happy about that. And again, the Caribbean continues to grow, the Caribbean and Canada. But overall, we have had a very good year, notwithstanding the little pockets that we had here and there. We know for a little bit that the airline prices were going very high. The summer was a little bit soft for some of us. But overall, we're going to have a great year, end of year this year.
Talking about airlines, do you think that the connectivity will be growing in your destination?
Well, yes, because we're working on it right now. We went to Roots in Turkey and so far for the year we are 10% up in 2024 or we were in 2023. So definitely we have more seats available. So we have more spaces for people to come and visit.
Okay, then how do you see in general the next season?
I'm very hopeful because we did a lot of product development in Saint Lucia as well. I'm very hopeful that we'll have perhaps one of our better years in a long time.