Whether clients want to just ‘fly and flop’ or seek out adventure, Saint Lucia is one Caribbean island that ticks all the boxes, says Jessica Pook

Why sell it

Described as “one of the top places to see in your lifetime” by none other than Oprah Winfrey, Saint Lucia is the ultimate island paradise. Soft sandy beaches, palm trees and colourful cocktails are all Caribbean staples but thanks to its volcanic origin Saint Lucia also offers bubbling mud pools, 19,000 acres of lush rainforests, more than 22 world class dive sites, sulphur springs and an abundance of activities.

Thanks to its diverse history, Saint Lucia is a melting pot of cultures. Carib culture still has a strong influence on the island, though it is mixed with African influences, along with a blend of English, French, and Dutch.

British Airways, a weekly flight with Tui and a three-times-weekly Virgin service from London-Heathrow during the winter months make Saint Lucia very accessible.

A new ‘Summer Saint Lucia Style’ campaign from the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) offers deals of up to 63% off on holidays throughout the summer months, bookable until September 30.

Who to sell to

With safe swimming beaches, ziplines through the trees and sailing and snorkelling on offer, Saint Lucia has enough to keep families entertained. Multigenerational groups can take advantage of the island’s all-inclusive product as well as its array of villa accommodation including resort villas such as Windjammer Landing and standalone villas like Xhale Villa.

Sunset cruises or private beachside dining experiences make Saint Lucia a popular choice for couples, whether for an island holiday, honeymoon or even to tie the knot. Couples young and old have accommodation choices including adultonly brands like Sandals and boutique hotels such as Ti Kaye Resort and Spa.

hotels such as Ti Kaye Resort and Spa. Solo travellers can opt for one of many wellness retreats focused on yoga and meditation, enjoy the island’s dive sites and golf courses or join a sailing charter.

Food-lovers can expect French and Creole flavours with staple Indian spices. The national dish of the island is green fig and saltfish, which consists of salted cod cooked with herbs and spices served alongside savoury green bananas. It’s a hearty dish bursting with flavour and a must-try whilst on the island.

What to sell

Saint Lucia offers a host of accommodation choices from world-famous brands to small boutique properties. The SLTA has launched a bespoke marketing programme to specifically support the 400-plus smaller accommodation properties on the island. Called the Collection de Pépites, it showcases properties of 35 rooms or fewer, including local B&Bs, boutiques, inns and luxury villas. Many of the properties offer guests the chance to discover culture, culinary and wellness experiences within intimate properties. For example, The Jungle Escape Eco Lodge is a hideaway for couples or groups to enjoy nature in Saint Lucia’s countryside.

Adventurous clients can take advantage of the many hiking trails across the Pitons with a group tour.

Other excursions include ATV Tours, ziplining, nature trails and a visit to the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano.

For something extra special, recommend clients begin or end their holiday in style, by adding a luxury Island Routes helicopter transfer to or from Hewanorra International Airport.

When to sell

Saint Lucia is a year-round destination with a packed calendar of festivals and events.

Saint Lucia Carnival, recognised as one of the top carnivals in the Caribbean, takes place from July 7-19. It will showcase Caribbean history, culture and creativity.

Saint Lucia Dive Festival is from September 19-26 while Creole Heritage Month is held annually in October – expect a month of music, dance, cuisine and art.

For those clients who are flexible with their timings, travelling in the low season can save a substantial amount of money.

The weather in Saint Lucia stays consistently warm throughout the year with the average temperature ranging from 23C to 31C. The busiest time is from December to April, the driest season, while the low season begins in May and lasts through to October.

The rainy season is from June to December, but showers pass quickly. This is often referred to as ‘liquid sunshine’.

How to sell

Saint Lucia can be sold as a standalone destination or as a multi-centre, combined with other Caribbean destinations such as Barbados, Grenada or Antigua. It also features as a highlight on many Caribbean cruise itineraries.

It is easy to get around Saint Lucia and a variety of day trips to explore other parts of the island are available The south side of Saint Lucia is closest to the airport and is home to some historic sites; the west coast is the culture hub, with Soufrière, the original French capital; and the north is home to Pigeon Island National Park and some of the top beaches. The interior is made for rainforest exploration.

What’s new

Sandals Halcyon Beach resort will add 25 new rooms in February 2023, including 20 beachfront, two-story villa rooms featuring large balconies and five Rondoval suites with conical ceilings, expansive bathrooms, and private water features.

Sandals Regency La Toc will introduce Sandals Resorts innovation in 2023, a village comprised of 20 Rondoval suites, with seven offering open-air rooftop decks.

The Landings Resort and Spa, St Lucia, has added a new stargazing experience offering guests the chance to join an expert-guided tour of the night sky

They will enjoy unobstructed views of the Milky Way whilst on a private boat charter equipped with a telescope.

Book it with...

Caribtours offers a seven-night stay at Bay Gardens Beach Resort in the heart of Rodney Bay Village from £1,045pp. The priced includes return flights and transfers.

caribtours.co.uk