Virgin Atlantic CEO praises the quick recovery of St Lucia holidays
Giving St Lucia a pat on the back for their swift action and big efforts to restore the island's beauty in no time after the passing of the Hurricane Tomas through the island, Virgin Atlantic praised St Lucia holidays for getting back in tip-top shape.
Praising the prompt and efficient recovery of the St Lucia holidays market as the island swiftly proceed to clean up after the mess Hurricane Tomas left behind, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Steve Ridgway, commended St Lucia on its quick rebounce well in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas and his company was pleased to return to the market this past Sunday, November 14, with a full load of passengers.
Arriving to the island aboard Virgin Atlantic's second flight into St Lucia since the 30th October storm, Ridgway met with Prime Minister Stephenson King and key tourism industry stakeholders, as he evaluated firsthand the resilience of St Lucia holidays and the tourism infrastructure of the island and its people.
"We came in with a full load Sunday and it is clear that travel is getting back to what it was prior to the storm," he told journalists at a press reception, which was also attended by members of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Rotary Club.
"I spoke with lots of passengers and they were all eagerly looking forward to their holiday, and were not daunted at all by what they have been hearing or reading," he pointed out.
Ridgway added that he was pleased with efforts to restore the island's road network and water production and gleaned from his talks with King there was a very clear intent on the part of government to convey that the country is open for St Lucia holidays and the tourism product had not been adversely impacted by the storm.
"It (is) important to normalize the flow of passengers to (Saint Lucia), which remains an important destination for us," he added.
Virgin Atlantic Airways, which has been serving holidays to St Lucia for the past 12 years, quickly put together a team of both British and Caribbean staff to assist passengers on the island who had been affected by the hurricane, as well as communities that were in need of relief.
Emergency supplies, including 115 aqua boxes and 80 shelter boxes, were transported to assist the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia. More than 3,000 litres of bottled water were also flown in and distributed by Virgin's ground staff.
Senator Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia's Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, thanked Virgin Atlantic for both its generosity and commitment to the destination.
"Our British and European business is showing tremendous growth potential," he said, adding that with new intra-regional air partners, Saint Lucia was positioning Hewanorra International Airport as a premier hub for connections to the Eastern Caribbean.
Virgin Atlantic Airways currently operates three weekly flights between Saint Lucia's Hewanorra International Airport and London's Gatwick Airport.
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