At least for the next two seasons the tourism sector is not looking very promising and things have changed within this vital industry and cruise ships are now complaining that due to the high fuel cost and Grenada’s geographical location, they have problems with continuing to come thus far south.
This is the reason why Princess and other lines are pulling out some of their ships and sending them into Europe where it will be much cheaper.
According to the Florida Cruise FCCA, we are above average and we as tour operators, tour guides and all other stakeholders should take extreme care on our part in making sure that we can make the visitor’s experience a memorable one by providing the best service to them thus making them want to come back to our Island.
I also want to remind our policymakers that tourism contributed over 290 million dollars while agriculture contributed 50 million.
While there is a need to build new feeder roads for our farmers I see nothing wrong with that, but so too Grenada should be better marketed along with the upgrading of the tourism product.
This vital industry has to take care of all other sectors, and I am begging please do not kill the goose that lays the golden egg, and do not bite the hand that feeds you economically.
I applaud the news that Sandals are finally coming to Grenada because that’s one of the main factors which was putting a serious strain on the government – marketing – to pay Airline to come to Grenada which was very costly.
These monies could be spent on other important infrastructure that will enhance the same sector. However with a flagship Hotel and an international brand, much more airlines will be flying to Grenada
There are still some of us within the sector who believe that jacking up their prices is no big deal but they are dead wrong.
Barbados had prized themselves out of the tourism market in the 1970s so please let us be mindful that Europe is technically still in recession and to a lesser degree the US, which our EC dollar has been tied to since 1976. We can say it is a double recession that is on.
We should try to get as close as possible to the South American market countries like Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela among other countries due to other hindering factors like high air fares out of the North American market into Puerto Rico and Barbados as home ports for these cruise lines.
All of us should come on board with Government to make the conditions much easier for private sector persons to get involved in the industry.
For too long, we have been giving mere lip service to the industry – much more money would have to be spent in marketing our destination.
Tell you what – something that will profoundly enhance the tourism product in Grenada is a zip line cable cart over the canopy at the Grand Etang Forest, but some serious concession should be given in order to get foreign investors to come in.
Let us look at Antigua for this coming off-season: They will be receiving 29 calls with over seventy thousand tourists going there.
So really and truly tourism will be year round in Antigua. It is time we get up and value this important industry for what it is worth.
Let us train more serious tour guides and continue to do more research so that we will be better prepared to compete in the global market.
Wake up Grenadians and smell the coffee