Saint Lucia smashed its annual stay-over visitor record in 2019 as numbers surged past the 400,000 mark for the first time.
In total, the island nation welcomed 423,736 stay-over visitors last year, an increase of 100,000 (38%) in just 10 years.
The island’s stay-over arrivals last year were up 7% on 2018, itself a record-breaking year for Saint Lucia.
Arrivals from the UK increased 6.2% last year to 83,669, with Britons now accounting for 19% of Saint Lucia’s figures – its third largest market after the US with 45% (191,000) and the Caribbean itself with 20% (85,000).
The UK leads the way in terms of duration of stay at an average of 10.76 nights per visit.
Saint Lucia tourism minister Dominic Fedee said it was vital the island continued to grow in a sustainable manner.
“We are not simply interested in increasing numbers, but more importantly ensuring the growth trajectory of the industry is sustainable and that it touches every facet of economic development leading to employment creation and income generation for our people,” he said.
Fedee stressed that despite Saint Lucia having one of the highest average daily rates in the Caribbean, demand for visits and stays remained strong.