Saint Lucia Comes Back From COVID with Perennial Favourites Plus New Ways to Experience the Island

Lateisha Wiliams in full Carnival gear!
Lateisha Wiliams in full Carnival gear!

At the first event in Canada in two years, a team of Saint Lucia travel pros welcomed the trade at a glittering event at lakefront Hotel X in Toronto.

Saint Lucia has long been known as one of the most romantic islands in the Caribbean. With stunning views, secluded coves, intimate restaurants and a pleasing, upscale vibe, it’s a top choice for couples from the US, Europe and Canada.

Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of the St. Lucia Tourism Authority
Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority

And the islanders are so happy to welcome Canadians back. “We miss you guys!” Lorine Charles-St. Jules, the CEO of Saint Lucia’s Tourism Authority told a media group at a cocktail reception Thursday 09JUN. The occasion was to welcome some 60 travel agents and tour operators and to showcase a select handful of the island’s resorts. And to remind us that the welcome to the island will be warmer than ever.


This summer there is weekly service on WS from YYZ to UVF, to be joined in the fall by AC (02OCT) and WG (05NOV). On 01APR, the island lifted all COVID-related entry restrictions.

Suzanne Fleming, BDM Canada for Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Serenity at Coconut Bay assured me that summer is no longer off season as the properties, known for their spaciousness and romantic plunge pools, fill up quickly.

Suzanne Fleming, Canada’s BDM for Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Serenity at Coconut Bay
Suzanne Fleming, Canada’s BDM for Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Serenity at Coconut Bay

Elaine Carnegie, President of Canlink, which represents Anse Chastanet Resort and Jade Mountain, pointed out that what used to be a bucket list trip is now way more common, with clients thinking “I’m not going to wait for retirement or a special anniversary – I’m going to do it now. I’ve been waiting for 2 years to travel and I can’t wait!”

She also wants to alert agents to the fact that luxury clients, used to getting whatever high end product they want, should not hesitate to book as some dates even in 2023 are now sold out.

CJ Smith, Director of Sales, Canada for Unique Vacations, reminds agents that there are 3 Sandals properties on the island, each with its own vibe and just 15 minutes apart and offering full “Stay at 1, Play at 3” privileges including watersports, dining and more. A free shuttle is offered between the resorts.

When visitors aren’t canoodling, there’s a wealth of activities, from scuba diving and snorkelling (“Like being in an aquarium!” Carnegie told me) to hiking, biking, and kayaking. Loads of festivals are on the books too, including Carnival and the Jazz Festival.

And the islanders haven’t been sitting on their hands during COVID, which provided a burst of domestic tourism and the chance to examine its tourism proposition from top to bottom. Noting the trend for some travellers towards the smaller, quainter hotel experience, the CDP (“Collection des Petits”) is a group of small – 4 to 35 room – properties featuring a more intimate style of vacation.

The country is also developing a new community tourism initiative whereby individual villages are developing experiences to help tourists connect with the locals. “There are currently 4 villages partaking in a pilot project,” said Charles-St. Jules. “Visitors will be able to visit people in their home, take a cooking class, learn how to make pepper sauce – even try their hand at making rum!”

There’s a new, renewed vibe on the island, she added. “Please tell your clients to pack their bags and come down and see us!”

Sunwing’s BDM Central & Eastern Ontario Jazmin Jimenez with David Wright, Sunwing’s Director of Sales, Ontario & Atlantic Canada
Sunwing’s BDM Central & Eastern Ontario Jazmin Jimenez with David Wright, Sunwing’s Director of Sales, Ontario & Atlantic Canada

Martha Chapman


An OJ columnist since 2006, Martha is responsible for the Biting Questions series as well as special seasonal series. She can often be seen On The Town covering industry events. Known to all in the biz, Martha has worked her entire career in travel, beginning as a teenaged hotel receptionist in Bermuda.

WestJet CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech
WestJet Will Fly 25 Per Cent Fewer Flights This Summer; Warns of “Short-Term Cancellations”
Despite flying 25 per cent fewer flights this summer than in 2019, WestJet warned Canadians just before the long weekend to ...
Adam Stewart speaking to Media partners and special guests at Aolos Restaurant
Sandals Royal Curaçao Opening Celebrations Reflect on 40th Anniversary; Catapult into “Sandals 2.0”
"Put your seat belts on... the next 5-10 years is going to be insane," Sandals' executive chairman Adam Stewart told Open ...
Emerald Sky on the Rhine River
Emerald Cruises Celebrates Canada Day with ‘Suite Savings’ on 2023 River Cruises
Emerald Cruises is celebrating Canada Day with “suite savings” on their 2023 Europe river cruises. Guests booked from 29JUN until 11JUL ...
L-R: Hamilton City Councillor Lloyd Ferguson, Vantage Airport Network Vice President and Head Cathie Puckering, Lynx Chief Commercial Officer Vijay Bathija, John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport Executive Managing Director Cole Horncastle and Hamilton City Councillor Judi Partridge celebrate Lynx’s inaugural flight from YHM to YHZ.
Lynx Air’s Inaugural Flight from YHM Takes Off
Lynx Air's first flight from YHM took to the skies on 29JUN, marking the start of twice-weekly return services to YYC ...
Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada
Air Canada Reducing Summer Schedule by over 10 Per Cent to Address “Customer Service Shortfalls”
The service reduction announcement "allows affected customers to take time to make other arrangements in an orderly manner, rather than have ...

Leave a Reply