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St Lucia readies for cruise season and strategizes to capture early gains from carnival demand

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – The ministry of tourism is said to be gearing up for the commencement of a new cruise season, starting in October, according to a Government Information Service (GIS) report, meanwhile, in partnership with the Cultural Development Foundation and the Carnival Planning and Management Committee has just announced an exciting and culturally rich ‘Saint Lucia Carnival’ from July 1-19, 2023, says the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA).

Improving the visitor experience

Accordingly, the ministry is working assiduously to ensure a safe commencement of the season with the arrival of the Celebrity Equinox on October 12, 2022.

“In preparation, the ministry hosted a dialogue with stakeholders about impending changes,” tourism officer, Samantha Charles, said the objective is to attain an improved visitor experience.

“Among the discussion points were updated cruise protocols which have been relaxed, port logistics and generally anything that affects or contributes to the visitor experience in the cruise sector. We’re hoping that coming from this meeting we have an idea as to what areas we can strengthen to enhance the experience for our cruise passengers.”

Chief executive officer of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Lorine Charles, said:

“The cruise sector is a very competitive sector in that many Caribbean islands depend on the cruise sector for economic development, and Saint Lucia is no exception. We depend on the cruise sector to assist especially our small businesses and axillary services so that these services can grow.” 

Media launch of the 2023 edition of Saint Lucia Carnival in Miami Florida, October 6, 2022

A press release from SLTA noted that further collaboration with the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Export Saint Lucia, and Events Saint Lucia solidifies the commitment to continue developing the island’s carnival product beyond its 238 square miles.

“Representatives of Saint Lucia’s destination marketing carnival bands will provide details on the events that drive visitors. The team at the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, led by marketing and events manager, Christopher Gustave, will showcase the National Carnival Events and represent other carnival brands unable to attend,” however, “travel trade, diaspora leaders, carnival influencers, Miami Carnival Leadership, and Miami-based carnival promoters will be in attendance.”

The release continued: “Both traditional and carnival-focused media will capture and share the event. This launch will provide an opportunity to help develop a sustainable mutually beneficial collaboration between the Miami Carnival audience and Saint Lucia Carnival.” 

A sample of the island’s unique Soca offerings will be provided by ‘Ezra Da Fun Machine’, and Road March Runner Up, ‘Shemmy J’, both backed by ‘DJ Hyper D’. Saint Lucia’s offerings will be on display at ‘Tipsy’ on October 7, where tens of thousands are expected to attend the event headlined by Afro-fusion superstar ‘Burna Boy’. Additionally, Brand Saint Lucia will be heavily displayed along the Miami Carnival route on October 9, 2022.

“The 2023 edition of Saint Lucia Carnival will continue to be a focal point of the upcoming regional and international Fall, Winter, and summer global marketing roadshows,” SLTA advised.

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