Berthia Parle, the outgoing St. Lucian President of the Caribbean Hotel Association, says she can’t wait for Air Jamaica to increase its service between New York and St. Lucia from three flights weekly to a daily service.
Parle, who hosted an Air Jamaica media group for a Caribbean lunch at her popular Bay Gardens Hotel, said the return of Air Jamaica to St. Lucia was a phenomenal development for the country and its tourism industry.
“This is great for the destination. We always had problems getting non-stop flights out of New York and that always created problems for us as people had to go over San Juan in some cases. This new service will assist the island in increasing our market share out of the U.S. and making it that much easier for people to visit St. Lucia, especially from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut which is
our largest market,” she said.
Parle, who steps down as CHA president this summer after a highly successful two year-term, said the new service is good for Air Jamaica, the hotels and the tourism industry. “I just hope that we can move from three days as quickly as possible to an actual daily flight ... I think we are doing all in our power to ensure the success of the flight,” she said.
Load factors on the new service which began in February have been encouraging with travelers responding positively to the only non-stop service from the Northeastern United States, and hoteliers reporting increased business since Air Jamaica’s return.