St. Lucia’s Diamond Waterfall // © 2014 St. Lucia Tourist Board
The Saint Lucia Tourist Board is offering travel agents two opportunities this year to learn more about what the island has to offer travelers.
Saint Lucia’s Love Elevated Wedding Symposium will be held Sept. 24 – 28, 2014. Consumer interest in Saint Lucia as a romance destination increased after the island’s natural beauty was put on display during the most recent season of ABC’s The Bachelor.
Destination wedding experts will address a variety of informational and sales strategy topics during the symposium, from “Creating Bridal Bliss! What a Bride Expects From a Destination Wedding” to “How to Brand Yourself/How to Close the Sale.” According to Jennifer Doncsecz, owner and president of VIP Vacations Inc. and a guest speaker at the event, the symposium can be a strong sales tool for travel agents.
“When working with a potential destination wedding couple, there's something very reassuring about relating personal experiences and showing firsthand photos from wedding locations, as well as simply stating that you attended a wedding symposium,” Doncsecz said. “Couple that with the romantic and exotic surroundings that St. Lucia provides and it is the recipe for success in establishing credibility at planning destination weddings.”
The symposium also allows travel agents to meet peers who are focused on selling destination weddings and provides the opportunity to tour resorts and meet site-specific wedding planners.
The five-day Love Elevated Wedding Symposium includes seminars, social events, site inspections, transportation from select hotels, a showcase of island wedding vendors and the opportunity for attendees to observe a sunset wedding. The event costs $150 per person and includes a sunset cruise with cocktail reception from the southern side of the island with views of the Pitons, an iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Saint Lucia Agent Months
Travel agents can also get a firsthand look at the island during Saint Lucia Agent Months (SLAM), a flexible familiarization program running through Nov. 15, 2014. SLAM includes a variety of tour options and land and sea excursions, as well as opportunities to experience the island’s cuisine and explore hotels and resorts during site inspections.
“Product knowledge programs play a key role in increasing arrivals to the island,” said Tracey Warner Arnold, deputy director of tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “Agents who have visited Saint Lucia are better equipped to deliver memorable experiences to their clients.”
SLAM includes booking incentives and special rates on accommodations, airport transfers, tours and attractions. American Airlines will offer travel partners 50 percent off airfares in October and November, and WestJet is offering agents a 70 percent discount on airfares for travel through Dec. 16, 2014 (blackout dates apply).