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Sunday,  May 19, 2024 10:23 AM 

St. Lucia holds 8th Showcase North America conference

St. Lucia holds 8th Showcase North America conference
(St. Lucia)
Pax Global Media

St. Lucia’s 2023 Showcase North America conference was hosted at Sandals Grande St. Lucian from July 6 to 10.

The event brought together the destination’s key travel industry organizations along with wholesale and tour operator partners from the US and Canada.

Delegates — including 26 buyers from North America and — met one-on-one with 33 St. Lucia sellers from the local tourism and accommodations sector, including those working with villas, destination management companies and attractions.

“This year’s Showcase North America was laser-focused on building business for our tourism partners and refreshing the strategies we utilize to sell the destination,” said Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of St. Lucia Tourism Authority.

“There was a strong interactive focus on current trends like artificial intelligence, sustainability, direct selling and targeted digital marketing, which especially amplified exposure for our smaller on-island tourism companies. Given the increase in the shared economy products in St. Lucia, we also provided opportunities for stakeholders to strengthen their proactive and reactive marketing.”

The five-day event was meant to refresh and re-tool the travel industry in St. Lucia, focusing on resilience, specifically to benefit small operators of accommodations, attractions, restaurants and other tourism-related companies.

A highlight of the conference was a keynote address by Seth Borko of Skift, discussing compelling trends and data affecting the travel industry.

Delegates and the local industry participated in interactive workshops about short-term rental insights, the use of artificial intelligence in travel, sustainability trends and social media.

Speakers included Danny Cohanpour and Charlotte Slater of Trove Tourism Development Advisors, Sanovnik Destang of Bay Gardens Resorts, Charlie Osmond of Triptease, and Yesenia Mora of Amadeus.

The conference blended meetings with an on-island itinerary that allowed guests to build product knowledge.

Participants were able to see St. Lucia by boat and visit attractions like the Pitons and sulfur springs mud baths.

In addition, the Inspiro Awards were given by St. Lucia Tourism Authority, recognizing leading wholesalers and milestones from the past year. Recipients included:

  • Best US Tour Operator Campaign Promoting St. Lucia – Delta Vacations
  • Best Canadian Tour Operator Campaign Promoting St. Lucia – Westjet Vacations
  • Top Growth Producing Traditional US Tour Operator – Apple Leisure Group
  • Top Growth Producing Traditional Canadian Tour Operator – Air Canada Vacations
  • Top Growth Producing OTA – Expedia
  • Product Manager of the Year – Michelle Gay, American Airlines Vacations
  • Top Revenue Contributing US Tour Operator – Classic Vacations
  • Top Revenue Contributing Canadian Tour Operator – Air Canada Vacations
  • Tour Operator with the Most Growth in Revenue for Weddings and Honeymoons – Classic Vacations
  • US Tour Operator with the Most Growth in Room Nights for 2022 – Vacation Express
  • Canadian Tour Operator with the Most Growth in Room Nights for 2022 – Air Canada

For more information about St. Lucia Showcase North America, click here.

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