Grenada Tourism product is rated by the F.C.C.A. as above average, therefore, it is left up to us as Tour Operators, Taxi Drivers, and the other stake holders to make it better by including the right government policies to take this vital industry, where it belongs.
By now, we should understand that Cuba is now unfolding on its way to the democratic process, which will be a direct threat to tourism arrivals in the English-speaking Caribbean as an American choice destination as soon as the US embargo is ended.
Let us not forget that Cuba was known as the Pearl of the Caribbean, or the little Paris of the Caribbean. Cuba has an infrastructure that is poised for takeoff and they will hit the ground running.
Generally speaking the world economy today is based on tourism like it or not, it’s a reality that we all have to face.
We all have been calling on especially the politicians for a flag ship Hotel and we have finally found one and it seems that others are soon to be followed.
Let us do not make the mistake by neglecting our smaller properties like the Spice Island Resort, which has been a home-grown property which has been recognised as a model Hotel wining various international awards for not just in Grenada but the Caribbean and the world which is owned by Grenadians, which has been serving the tourism industry for decades.
My plea is, they are also entitled to the same concessions and other benefits and recognition that the international brands are receiving.
We should make sure that when this tourism pie is baked all of these properties should receive a slice of it.
For too long we have always been focusing on the international brands which may be good for more flights coming to Grenada etc. but we have to recognise the Hoteliers especially those who have made a difference in time of real crisis.
I will like to recognise the Gems and Kalinago Hotels Manager and owner, Julia Moore and family for maybe the most beautiful span of beach property anywhere in Grenada which spell the true nature of a GEM, together with the Flamboyant Hotel, where lots of regional tourists visit especially from Trinidad & Tobago as a get-a-way spot in the slow tourist season with it phenomenal panoramic view of St George.
The same small Hoteliers are the same ones who have been on the receiving end of the 1983 military intervention or invasion, Hurricane Ivan, the world economic downturn, and much more and still had to keep their employees pay check running, even when there was no business.
I will like to personally recognise the owner and manager of the True Blue Bay Resort, Rus and his family, as well as his professional staff, that is unmatched, when it comes to service, as often attested to by the guests as a beautiful resort for taking the lead role in bringing back the RC school at Vendome with other donations received, other agencies and NGOS where these students could now be in a much better and safer learning environment.
I think this is an excellent initiative, and a good example of giving back to the community, more of this initiative is needed from the corporate sector.
There are some businesses who make a great surplus profit and still do not even pay their taxes.
There are other foreign companies who after sucking the blood of the country only to declare bankruptcy and move to another destination for another ten years – wake up and smell the coffee.
I will love to see the international brands like Sandals who have received monumental concessions and other favourable conditions, for millions of dollars by our governments, for the next twenty five years, I do hope that they will be giving back to the country and the needy social institutions that are so much in need, or having in mind the socio-economic development of this country, which have been raped of her resources time and time again.
I do hope that we will learn from those mistakes.