SAINT LUCIA - BEST CARIBBEAN ISLAND TO INVEST
Saint Lucia is quickly positioning itself as a high-end, boutique destination with accommodations and amenities that will propel the destination to even greater visitation and visitor spend. To this end, Saint Lucia provides an inviting platform for similarly focused investors to take advantage of the high-end clientele that are increasingly viewing Saint Lucia as the destination of choice for a chic and exclusive experience.
AWARD WINNING & HISTORY OF SUCCESS
Saint Lucia has attained international acclaim from leading international publications, travel writers and the business community alike.
Among the accolades that have captured the world’s attention are:
- The World Travel Awards’ World’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 1998, 2002-04, 2006-10;
- The World Travel Awards’ Caribbean Leading Honeymoon Destination 2009-14;
- Conde Nast Traveler: Saint Lucian resorts are consistently ranked as some of the best in the world;
- Award winning chefs, restaurants and cuisine;
- “The Bachelor” – site of final rose ceremony and overnight dates for the hit ABC Network show in 2010 and 2014.
Historically, Saint Lucia is known as the “Helen of the West Indies”, a comparison of the island to Helen of Troy, who according to Greek mythology, was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. This perhaps explains why Saint Lucia changed hands 14 times between Great Britain and France before France relinquished possession of the island to Great Britain in 1814.
Located in the Eastern Caribbean, Saint Lucia not only enjoys relative proximity to major source markets but can also count on visitors’ natural affinity for the destination due to the island’s strong cultural and economic ties with North America, the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and Latin America.
ATTRACTIONS AND AMENITIES
A wide variety of man-made and natural attractions, soft adventure and cultural based tours and events with the ability to cater to romance and family, can be leveraged by potential investors to enhance their own investment offerings. These include the iconic twin peaks -“the Pitons” – a UNESCO World Heritage, a Drive in volcano, the internationally acclaimed Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) and year-round cultural events.
HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL UNIQUENESS
Saint Lucia provides a unique and authentic cultural experience that high-end clientele crave. Saint Lucia is distinguished as having a rich history given the settlements by the original Amerindians, followed by Africans and Indians who were brought to the “New World” through French and British colonization
REGIONAL LEADER IN THE OECS FOR TOURIST ARRIVALS
Saint Lucia continues to be the leading Tourism destination in the OECS based on visitor arrivals.
Natural aesthetics are complemented by a solid infrastructural base, which includes a modern road network, 2 airports, each located in the economic hubs of the island (Hewanorra International Airport in Vieux Fort and George F.L. Charles Airport in the capital, Castries), as well as 2 sea ports. Saint Lucia also has two duty free shopping facilities located in Port Castries (La Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine), and a wide range of duty free shopping is available throughout the main tourist districts, complemented by modern yachting facilities, which include two full service Marinas (IGY Rodney Bay and Marigot Bay).
One attribute that continues to set Saint Lucia apart from other destinations is the consistent and measurable feedback about the warmth and friendliness of its people. This remains the central ingredient to excellent customer service and attention to detail that are demanded by the discerning traveler.
The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival has attracted over 220,000 visitors in its 24 year existence. The Jazz Festival is just one of four major events held annually; Saint Lucia Carnival, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) and the Creole Festival, which is a celebration of the island’s Creole heritage. The popular Gros-Islet Friday night street celebration, in which locals and visitors alike sample local cuisine and craft, while dancing the night away to the strains of indigenous, regional and international music, has been a fixture on the weekly entertainment calendar for more than 30 years.
The Government of Saint Lucia provides incentives to encourage the development of the Tourism Industry by offering relief from income tax and customs duties to approved tourism products. These include but are not limited to accommodation, restaurants, sites and attractions, and other ancillaries directly related to the sector. Available incentives include:
Tourism Incentives Act
- Exemption from corporate income tax for up to 15 years.
- Exemption from import duty on building materials, furnishings and equipment.
- Limited Liability Corporation entitled to distribute profits as capital free of tax for two (2) years after the end of the tax holiday.
- Tourism Stimulus & Investment Act (Until March 31, 2020).
- Exemption from corporate income tax for up to 25 years.
- Exemption for interest received during the development period
- Exemption from custom duties on imports including fixtures and fittings.
- Exemption from duty on imports of alternative energy and energy saving equipment
- No Value Added Tax (VAT) on building materials and locally produced art and craft.
- No Corporate tax during development phase.
- No Property tax and Alien Landholding License fee during development.
- Exemption from payment of stamp duty and vendors tax on transfer or sale of immovable property on initial transfer.
- Percentage tax credit for financial institutions based on the quantum of investment.
Additionally, it should be noted that Saint Lucia does not have a capital gains tax, or taxes on interest from bank deposits or on distribution of dividends.