Saint Lu­cia Records a Bumper Cruise Sea­son in 2014

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Port Cas­tries wel­comed over 640,000 cruise pas­sen­gers and 387 cruise ship vis­its in 2014 re­al­iz­ing a year-onyear growth of 13% and 8% re­spec­tively. The Saint Lu­cia Air and Sea Ports Author­ity (SLASPA), in a joint press con­fer­ence with Cruise Agents Cox & Com­pany Ltd and Foster & Ince Cruise Ser­vices (St. Lu­cia) Ltd., rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Min­istry of Tourism, Her­itage and the Cre­ative In­dus­tries, in ad­di­tion to rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Na­tional Taxi Union, ap­plauded the pos­i­tive per­for­mance of the cruise in­dus­try in 2014.

Speak­ing at the press con­fer­ence Mr. Keigan Cox, Gen­eral Manager and CEO of SLASPA in­di­cated, “This per­for­mance is no ac­ci­dent as it is due to the con­tin­u­ous ef­forts of our in­dus­try part­ners to en­hance the prod­uct of­fer­ing. SLASPA rec­og­nizes the cru­cial im­por­tance of the cruise in­dus­try and the many eco­nomic benefits it presents. There­fore, the Author­ity works closely with the cruise lines and stake­hold­ers to sus­tain and in­crease cruise traf­fic to Saint Lu­cia by pro­mot­ing Port Cas­tries and by ex­ten­sion Saint Lu­cia as the ideal cruise des­ti­na­tion.”

The in­crease in traf­fic can be at­trib­uted to a greater num­ber of calls by Costa Cruises, Pull­man­tar Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as well as larger class ves­sels vis­it­ing the is­land dur­ing the year. The Author­ity also high­lighted the re­turn of Dis­ney Cruise Line to the is­land in 2014 with 4 calls and ap­prox­i­mately 9,000 pas­sen­gers.

Mrs. Anne-Mar­garet Adams, Direc­tor of Prod­uct Devel­op­ment at the Min­istry of Tourism said, “This per­for­mance is great news for the coun­try but we can­not be com­pla­cent. We must work to­gether to de­velop a high qual­ity tourism prod­uct which meets in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.”

Mr. Matthew Beaubrun, CEO of Cox and Com­pany Limited also high­lighted the point that in­dus­try stake­hold­ers must take a strate­gic and co­he­sive ap­proach which in­cludes hav­ing a clear vi­sion and re­al­is­tic ob­jec­tives to move the in­dus­try for­ward.

SLASPA an­tic­i­pates that cruise traf­fic will con­tinue to grow in 2015. Al­ready, dur­ing the first quar­ter of 2015, Port Cas­tries has wel­comed 197 cruise ship calls car­ry­ing 292,218 pas­sen­gers re­al­iz­ing 3% and 6% in­crease re­spec­tively when com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2014. Pre­lim­i­nary fore­casts for 2015 in­di­cate cruise calls will grow by 3% while pas­sen­ger traf­fic is ex­pected to in­crease by 11%.

Port Cas­tries is a nat­u­ral har­bour of­fer­ing ded­i­cated cruise pas­sen­ger ser­vices and is con­sid­ered amongst the best in the world. In 2013, Port Cas­tries was ranked num­ber 25 in the “World’s Top 50 Cruise Ports of Call” by Cruise In­sight, the Global Cruise Mar­ket Mag­a­zine.

Port Cas­tries con­tin­ues to at­tract cruise pas­sen­gers to the

is­land in record num­bers.

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