The St. Lucia Tourist Board said stay-over arrivals on the island in the Lesser Antilles hit an all-time high last year, with 305,937, a 10-percent jump over 2009. Tourism Director Louis Lewis said the results are impressive because of ways the industry was affected last year by natural events, including Hurricane Tomas blowing through in November, the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud in April and bad weather in major source markets in December.
Lewis said stays in the first nine months heavily contributed to the overall boost in arrivals. The United States is the biggest market for St. Lucia, accounting for 42 percent of arrivals last year, with the United Kingdom second at 22 percent. The Caribbean market accounted for 18 percent of arrivals, with Canada logging in with 10 percent.
Cruise passenger arrivals dipped last year, he said, with 670,043 visits, a 4.2-percent drop from 2009.
Paul E. Kandarian photo