Saint Lu­cia Re­claims Lead­ing Hon­ey­moon Des­ti­na­tion Ti­tle

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - ----JSA

For the tenth time Saint Lu­cia has been named the ‘World's Lead­ing Hon­ey­moon Des­ti­na­tion' by the World Travel Awards, beat­ing out in the process Ja­maica, Paris, Mal­dives, Maui, Carta­gena de In­dias, Mau­ri­tius, and Mi­ami Beach, Florida. The awards were es­tab­lished in 1993 “to re­ward and cel­e­brate ex­cel­lence across all key sec­tors of the travel, tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­tries". In the 25 years since the awards' in­cep­tion, Saint Lu­cia has won the Lead­ing Hon­ey­moon Des­ti­na­tion award a record ten times: in 1998, 20022004, 2006-2010 and now again in 2018.

This year's cer­e­mony took place on 1 De­cem­ber in Lis­bon, Por­tu­gal. Mr. Ni­cholas John, chair­man of the Saint Lu­cia Tourism Au­thor­ity, re­ceived the award on the coun­try's be­half. To mark this achieve­ment, the SLTA on Sun­day un­veiled a bill­board on the He­wanorra In­ter­na­tional Air­port grounds, in Vieux Fort. The bill­board sits con­spic­u­ously near the air­port's exit. Sun­day's un­veil­ing was sched­uled for a "prompt" 11:00 am start time but got un­der­way some thirty min­utes late. In at­ten­dance were the ebul­lient tourism min­is­ter Do­minic Fedee and lo­cal tourism of­fi­cials in­clud­ing act­ing SLTA CEO Mrs. Tiffany Howard.

"To­day is an ex­tra­or­di­nary day for Saint Lu­cia's tourism," said Min­is­ter Fedee. "Once again the world has rec­og­nized our mys­tique and our charm! Most im­por­tantly, per­haps, our ro­mance." The min­is­ter said the coun­try had good rea­son to be proud, and should cel­e­brate the fact that thou­sands of travel pro­fes­sion­als voted for Saint Lu­cia out of the many places in the world.

"I want to ded­i­cate this award to the thou­sands of tourism em­ploy­ees at the line level," he con­tin­ued. "They go out ev­ery day to fight and com­pete for the des­ti­na­tion of Saint Lu­cia. These peo­ple have been the most ex­tra­or­di­nary am­bas­sadors. They show our guests why Saint Lu­cia is spe­cial."

In an ef­fort to sus­tain the is­land's "global dom­i­nance in the ro­mance busi­ness and hon­ey­moon mar­ket,” the min­is­ter an­nounced that a spe­cial coun­cil will be put to­gether to im­prove man­age­ment and to make the is­land com­pet­i­tive for years to come. Said Fedee: "We have cho­sen as the vi­sion for the coun­cil to be com­pet­i­tive, num­ber one, but also to be sus­tain­able and re­silient, and to make sure that we do ev­ery­thing we can to em­brace re­spon­si­ble tourism."

Saint Lu­cia tourism of­fi­cials cel­e­brate at the un­veil­ing of the bill­board at the He­wanorra In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Vieux Fort.

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