CASTRIES, St. Lucia -- The St. Lucia Tourist Board plans to close
its New York office, its only U.S. office, by the end of the year
as part of an overall administrative restructuring and cost-cutting
St. Lucia's Toronto office is unaffected by the restructuring
and will remain open.
The tourist board will appoint sales representatives in several
regions to maintain its U.S. presence and to concentrate its sales
efforts in key markets.
Maria Fowell, deputy director of the tourist board in St. Lucia,
said that sales reps will serve the New York area, the Chicago and
Midwest region and Atlanta and the Southeast markets, particularly
St. Lucia will maintain its toll-free information hot line at
(888) 4-ST LUCIA.
The line, which is currently answered by the administrative
staff in the New York office, may be rerouted to the head office
here in the near future.
The restructuring also includes an evaluation of the
destination's marketing and promotion plans, according to
"Right now we are evaluating our image, branding and market
positioning," she said.
Tourism officials plan to launch a promotional and marketing
campaign before the end of the year that will focus on St. Lucia's
natural assets, such as the Pitons, Diamond Falls and the rain
St. Lucia's Web site at www.stlucia.org will undergo some technical changes to
make the site more interactive for browsers.