Tourism Director: ‘Come back home’

The Caribbean island of St. Lucia has developed a new plan to woo members of the Caribbean expatriate community to its shores.

Louis Lewis, St. Lucia’s Director of Tourism, announced this week that the St. Lucia Tourist Board has embarked on a public relations strategy to encourage the North American Diaspora to ‘come back home’ on vacation and to take advantage of some of the exciting investment opportunities on the island.

‘Paying lip service to the Diaspora is no longer an option for us and we want to start first by working closely with nationals in North America to help boost visitor arrivals and socio-economic development on our island,’ said Mr. Lewis, disclosing that the plan calls for close cooperation with the local private sector to work with this vibrant market segment.

‘We have seen strong support for our product from Caribbean nationals across the United States, Canada and Europe, and expect even greater visitors to our shores with increased air seats to St. Lucia over the next few months,’ he said, citing the start of Jet Blue’s thrice weekly non-stop flights from New York this Fall as well as the resumption of West Jet service from Toronto.

Part and parcel of St. Lucia’s marketing strategy, the director revealed, was also targeting first, second and third generation West Indians abroad.

‘Some of our relatives have never explored their heritage in the Caribbean, having been raised by Caribbean parents or grandparents in Miami, New York and Texas, so we want to let them know that they have a home here in St. Lucia or nearby in the Caribbean region,’ he said.

The St. Lucia Tourist Board reports that complementing the Diaspora charge will be new and innovative approaches to its overall North American public relations strategy.

‘We have some very exciting plans in the works to gain greater consumer mindshare,’ said Mr. Lewis, who is quietly optimistic about the recovery of the sector in the months ahead.