Tourism officials in Saint Lucia are ecstatic about the considerable increase in the number of yacht calls to the island. Statistics released from the Saint Lucia Tourist Board revealed double digit growth (28.8%) in yachting arrivals for the period January to June 2016, in comparison to the same period in 2015.
Data collected at Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay Marinas collectively tallied a total of 29,101 yacht arrivals, compared to 25,593 yachtspersons who visited between January and June last year. An increase of 32.4% and 18.6% was recorded at Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay marinas respectively.
Cuthbert Didier, Maritime Consultant in the Ministry of Tourism (Saint Lucia) and Saint Lucia’s representative on the OECS yachting committee attributes this increase to a combination of factors. However a main reason reported by Didier is the participation of Saint Lucia in major Boat Shows such as the Annapolis (United States Sailboat) Boat Show.
In October 2014, Saint Lucia joined six other OECS islands for a collective presence at the Annapolis Boat Show. A survey of patrons visiting the Eastern Caribbean Village at this event revealed that ninety six percent (96%) of respondents intend to sail to the OECS in the future and there is a 77% chance that this is very likely occurrence.
Saint Lucia also participated in the OECS joint presence at the Toronto International Boat Show (TIBS) in January 2015; and the Boot Dusseldorf Boat Show in Germany in January 2016.