CASTRIES, St. Lucia – St. Lucia has welcomed the return of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines (CAL) service to the island as it underscored the importance of the Caribbean market to its tourism industry.
“We are delighted to see the return of the service to the destination with Caribbean Airlines and look forward to welcoming our returning nationals and visitors from Trinidad and Tobago,” Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire said as CAL’s non-stop service from Piarco International Airport marked the first schedule flight since in mid-202 when Trinidad and Tobago closed its borders as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The Caribbean market is important to us and is one of our largest source markets for visitors to Saint Lucia. Having you back will certainly add a lot of flavor in many ways. I am sure that our smaller properties will be delighted and we appreciate the ease of transportation between our islands,” Hilaire said.
In 2019, the Caribbean was recognized as St. Lucia’s second largest market for stay-over arrivals. The 83,466 Caribbean arrivals recorded in 2019 was 7.2 per cent higher than arrivals recorded in 2018.
Trinidad and Tobago accounted for 18,971 visitors, a year-on-year increase of 10.56 per cent and CAL’s chief executive officer, Garvin Medera, said the airline is delighted to restart weekly service to St Lucia, “which is one of our beloved markets.
“The enthusiastic welcome that we have received is heartening and we look forward to working closely with the SLTA (St. Lucia Tourism Authority) to connect St. Lucia to the region and beyond. The Caribcation campaign will serve to stimulate demand which will be good news for all stakeholders,” he added.
Hilaire and SLTA marketing manager for Caribbean and Events, Christopher Gustave, presented a special commemorative plaque depicting St. Lucia’s iconic twin Pitons and niche markets to Captain Dale Harrison and accompanying crewmembers.
St. Lucia is the fifth Caribbean destination added to the airline’s schedule for direct service into and out of Trinidad.
The SLTA is working with CAL through a very targeted digital campaign to promote the flight, and on-island offerings including accommodation, and the most compelling experiences.
CAL said that as it continues the phased introduction of its commercial schedule, operations to St. Lucia will take place weekly. On Mondays the service will depart Trinidad at 2:00 pm (local time) for the one hour five minute flight, returning the same day.