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Year after year, St. Lucia is at or near the top of lists featuring the most popular Caribbean destinations. And this summer and into the fall, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) will be further spotlighting the island with an impressive pair of marketing campaigns of interest to travel advisors.
The annual Saint Lucia Agent Months program is offering advisors up to 50% off on hotels, ground transportation, meals, tours and activities, with hopes of inspiring advisors to vacation on the island while, at the same time, educating themselves about the island’s appeal for their clients. The offer is good through Nov. 30, 2019.
St. Lucia is also promoting 2019 as The Year of Festivals. On-island events include Saint Lucia Roots & Soul (Aug. 23-25); Saint Lucia Food & Rum (Sept.r 19-22); and Chocolate Heritage Month. These events provide a value-added visit for clients on St. Lucia.
We asked Richard Moss, trade sales manager – USA for SLTA, how advisors can make the most of these agent-targeted initiatives.
How easy is it for travel advisors to create a St. Lucia research trip that combines stays at several hotels?In St. Lucia, we say “Let Her Inspire You” — and it's not just a slogan. Being here allows you to become immersed in the island’s beauty and inspired by our personalized service at hotels, as well as culturally rich experiences.
With more than 20 hotels offering special rates for Saint Lucia Agent Months, advisors have a variety of choices, from intimate inns to luxury resorts. Once advisors have selected the hotels they wish to visit and confirmed availability, their SLTA trade manager can advise on how to build an itinerary that makes visiting multiple hotels easy and maximizes their time on the island.
Contact SLTA at [email protected], and include your travel agent ID. Afterward, SLTA can get to work creating a full day of site inspections around St. Lucia.
Are there any on-island car rental companies participating in Saint Lucia Agent Months?While on-island car rental companies are not offering rates for Saint Lucia Agent Months, renting a car is easily accessible and affordable in St. Lucia. Brands include Avis, Sixt, Budget, Cost Less, Drive-A-Matic and many others.
Agents can also book with an on-island tour company, with many offering rates for Saint Lucia Agent Months — including Barefoot Holidays St. Lucia, CHI Shuttles and Holiday Adventures.
Do you have tips for advisors on how they can make the most out of their visit?They should start by contacting their trade representative, who will provide several resources to help plan an ideal stay on St. Lucia (including color-coded maps of the island that indicate the location of hotels, attractions and dive sites). The representative will also arrange all site visits on their behalf with a dedicated driver, making it easy and stress free to get around the island.
During site visits, they will receive kits from each property including resort summary cheat sheets for quickly checking off key attributes and USPs (unique selling points).
Our website also includes many resources to help advisors find information on various attractions and resorts as well as beaches and must-do activities on St. Lucia, such as scuba diving; active and wellness activities, including ziplining and mud baths; and romantic getaways.
How far in advance should travel advisors book a trip for their clients interested in attending a specific festival?Ideally, clients would book at least three months out to ensure their first choice in hotels and air carriers. Advisors should keep in mind that booking in advance generally provides the ideal opportunity for securing the best air travel and hotel rates.
What differentiates Saint Lucia Carnival from bigger events such as the Carnivals on Trinidad and in Rio?Saint Lucia Carnival is uniquely St. Lucian. Over the last three to five years, the increase in popularity of St. Lucian homegrown musical genres and styles makes it uniquely “Looshan.” Therefore, it encapsulates the spirit of the place and people, and is reflective of the unique fusion of West African, East Indian, British and French.
Additionally, Saint Lucia’s Carnival Roster is jam-packed with events to satisfy a range of interests, from first-time tourists to members of the Saint Lucian Diaspora and supporters who return every year from around the world.
There are more than 25 events on the calendar of activities, including the National Carnival Queen pageant; the National Calypso Competition; National Junior Carnival; Panoramas; J’ouvert; Groovy and Power Soca Monarch; and King and Queen of the Bands.
The DetailsSaint Lucia Agent Monthswww.stlucia.org/travel-trade
Saint Lucia Tourism Authoritywww.stlucia.org