Saint Lucia Reclaims Leading Honeymoon Destination Title
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.