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More airline seats will boost tourism industry in 2010

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne

Friday, November 27, 2009 – Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Senator Honorable Allan Chastanet says Saint Lucia`s Tourism Industry is well poised to do very good in 2010. Minister Chastanet says in addition to increased airlift, a number of tourism and Hotel projects which were affected by the global economic crisis will come back on stream very soon.

“The good news is that the Praslin hotel development will be getting off the ground again soon, we have also received notification that Ritz Carlton is scheduled to break ground before the end of the year. The Landings is continuing to grow as they are prepared to finish their next phase of development shortly. The Raffles project is potentially going to get off the ground soon and there are about two hotel projects that the government has been monitoring closely which are gaining momentum; so I think that we are really starting to build the momentum for a great 2010,” Chastanet said enthusiastically.

The tourism minister says Saint Lucia is also well on its way to welcome an increase in visitors arrivals in 2010 particularly during the summer season. He says this is the direct result of targeted marketing initiatives and increased airlift to the destination. “In addition to seeing the increase in winter seats, we have now been able to secure the airlift through to the summer season and that has been one of the major challenges for Saint Lucia. We are actually going to have more airline seats this summer season than we will have in the winter and that is in part due to Delta Airlines, that is looking to put on four additional flights out of Atlanta. We will have eleven flights weekly out of Atlanta. For the summer, American Airlines is keeping its four flights on through the summer and British Airways have agreed to keep their five flights on.”

Minister Chastanet says negotiations are ongoing with West Jet and Air Canada in an effort to secure their services through to the summer of 2010.

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