Antoine says the crew will experience an authentic Saint Lucian experience during the stopover. In turn, he says, many local businesses and communities will benefit.
“There’s a lot of trickle down effect, there’s a lot of spill off. The boats need fuel, so the fuel companies get involved, the government in turn gets excise tax and other taxes off the fuel. The crewmen have to eat, they have to drink, they have to communicate, they need financial services - all of that is being utilized. People are also being hired during that period as well to augment the existing staff that we have,” Antoine explained during the ARC 2023 media launch.
The ARC is the largest transoceanic sailing event in the world and regularly attracts over 200 yachts. According to the SLTA Chairman, a host of activities and cultural events are planned for the visiting yachtsmen.
“We’re also talking about cultural interactions, cultural immersiveness taking part in the country. People want to see what Saint Lucia is about - the authentic Saint Lucia. All of that is part and parcel which helps generate economic growth in the country,” he said.
With the Christmas season fast approaching, he says, this economic stimulation augurs well for small businesses.
“It’s a short period, but it’s a great economic impact leading up to the Christmas season, which we know is a very busy season, as well as a season of a lot of consumption. When you have in excess of a thousand people coming into the country as part of the crew, but also support families coming down as well, there’s heavy consumption during that time.”
The ARC voyages were started back in 1986 and have ended in Saint Lucia for a number of years.