Saint Lucia Divefest hailed as impressive success
The Second annual Saint Lucia Divefest was hailed an impressive success by dive travel planners and divers.
According to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, the event took place from September 10-15, 2018 and provided underwater enthusiasts with an in-depth look into the dive product of Saint Lucia. During the festival, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority hosted 10 dive travel planners, three North American dive shop owners and three North American journalists.
The group stayed at Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort and worked with dive operators Body Holiday, Dive Fair Helen, Eastern Caribbean Divers and Sugar Beach to gain the first-hand experience of the island’s dive product.
Travel agent Julie Gilchrist of Travel Agent Next Door Canada said: “It was a great opportunity to experience this wonderful destination and everything it has to offer. The diving was spectacular, the service and the people are second to none. I would highly recommend Saint Lucia to anyone, come for the dive, come for the people, come for the experience.”
Speaking on his Saint Lucian dive experience, Stephen Philbrooks, underwater photographer and journalist said, “It has been some of the most spectacular underwater scenery I have seen, and I look forward to sharing it with my friends and other divers. This is truly an amazing island.”
The travel planners all shared similar sentiments to Philbrooks, adding their intention to book large dive groups for the 2019 edition. Divefest is produced in conjunction with the Saint Lucia Divers Association (Abaglo). Its primary focus is developing the dive product and niche market interest of the destination.
Speaking on the importance of Divefest, Donavan Brown President of Abaglo said: “We are very pleased with the high level of interest and enthusiasm from the travel planners and we look forward to future collaborations to market the island’s dive product.”
As the SLTA continues to promote the niche market of dive, it is preparing for the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) show 2018 from November 14-17 in Las Vegas.
DEMA show attracts hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of dive and travel industry professionals from around the world each year. During DEMA, the SLTA plans to showcase a recap of Divefest 2018 as part of the marketing effort.
“We understand the beauty and the importance of our marine resource and we are moving ahead to make the most of these opportunities to attract dive enthusiasts to our shores. We hear from divers who have been all over the world that the island has some of the most inspiring and enthralling dive sites they have come across. We are working on marketing the diversity of the destination and we will continue to assist the dive operators on the island," said Ernie George, US – Sales Manager for the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.
The third edition of Divefest is scheduled for September 8 -14, 2019.