OFFICIALS FROM from Saint Lucia’s tourism sector welcomed the inaugural flight of Touristik Union International (TUI) Thomson into Saint Lucia at the Hewannorra International Airport.
Deepa Girdari from the Department of Tourism spoke on behalf of the minister with responsibility for Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Dominic Fedee who was out of state.
Girdari said with the new 288-seater aircraft, projections from May to December 2017 are that TUI Thomson will provide about 9 000 additional seats, bringing the total number of seats from the UK to about 155 000 – a six per cent increase over what was recorded for 2016.
“This addition of flight by TUI Thomson will help improve the number of UK arrivals to Saint Lucia, and by extension other holidaymakers from Europe.”
Deputy Chairperson of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) Leathon Khan said the expected benefits to Saint Lucia are an exciting prospect.
“We’re optimistic that for 2017/2018 we will see significant growth. I’m also told that this flight took in roughly 300 new passengers, and if we can sustain those numbers every week then we’re looking at over 15 000 new passengers to Saint Lucia over the next year. That, by any measure, is very significant, and is good news for our taxi drivers, hotels, and tour operators.
Saint Lucia and Barbados are the only islands in the Eastern Caribbean currently hosting TUI Thomson flights. (SLGIS)