The number of stopover visitors to St. Lucia's increased 14% in January, as the island received 24,958 visitors compared with 21,887 the year before, according to the St. Lucia Tourist Board.

The number of cruise passengers during the month jumped 25.4%, climbing to 102,286 from 81,536.

The U.K. had the largest percentage increase in stopover visitors (22%), but the U.S. generated the largest market share, accounting for more than 32% of all January arrivals.

Total tourist arrivals to St. Lucia in 2007 dropped 5% over 2006. There were decreases from all major markets, except the U.K. and Canada. The U.S. visitor count dropped 3.4%, from 117,450 arrivals in 2006 to 113,433 last year.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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