Parliamentary Representative for South St George, Alexandra Otway-Noel, says her administration has no intention of selling the island’s lone recreational park in the south of the Island but will address it if interest for sale is presented in the future.
In response to a question posed by the local media last week Wednesday, regarding the issue which surfaced recently, Otway Noel who defeated former MP Glynis Roberts in the February 19, General Election on the New National Party (NNP) ticket, told the media that the Park is not up for sale.
“There is no plan to sell Camerhogne Park, Camerhogne Park is there for the residents and the visitors to South St George, to Grand Anse beach and if one comes forward then I don’t know, then we will address it at that time, there is no plan (to sell) … if something happens in the future we would address it then,” she said.
Otway-Noel said the only property government is involved with in proximity to the Camerhogne Park, is the Riviera property, which the Keith Mitchell led administration recently acquired for a proposed hotel.
Word had spread throughout the country that the seven-month-old Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) administration had decided to sell the Park to an investor with Grenadian connection from the Lebanonese community to facilitate a 5-star hotel along the Grand Anse beach.
It was alleged that the investor is interested in building a 5-star hotel on the Riviera site that the property was too small to accommodate the planned 250-hotel and that the park was needed to facilitate the other block of rooms.
There are unconfirmed reports that the promoters of the hotel are looking at the possibility of putting up a 5-storey block of buildings on the Riviera site and that it will be able to accommodate all 250 hotel rooms.
Minister Otway-Noel confirmed that consideration is being given to Camerhogne Park falling under the responsibility of the Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) which is to transition into the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) by December 11.
She believes that all national attraction sites and parks under the control of the GBT needs to be streamlined as it poses a problem in terms of management of these facilities.
“In terms of whether or not Camerhogne Park specifically would be managed by the Tourism Authority, we’re in discussions about that” she said, adding that this is one of the challenges faced by the outgoing GBT.
According to Otway-Noel, the main focus of the new tourism entity would be to promote Grenada and make sure that the airplanes are full and the newspaper ads are in place and that the Public Relations is done and “everything is up to mark in terms of promoting our destination to the wider world”.
Former Director at the GBT, Simon Stiell, who serves as Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is in full support of commercialisation of these sites.
He said that areas to be introduced by the GTA when legally established, such as a Commercial Director, would focus on the commercialisation of these sites.
“One of the areas that would be focused on is the commercialisation of our sites and attractions. We have so many sites and attractions which government does not have the capital to invest, and take Fort George for example, they have significant potential, we do not have the financial means to invest and bring them up to a standard where significant revenues can be generated from them,” Stiell said.
The junior government minister said that government would look at public/private partnership for the development of these sites and attractions for the necessary resources and skills sets needed to develop these sites to international standard.
Stiell was optimistic that commercialisation of these sites can be a major revenue generator for the Grenada Tourism Authority and if things go as planned, the GTA would no longer be dependent on government subvention as the current GBT is and it would independently generate significant revenues to fund its operations, easing the financial burden on central government.
A former government minister in Barbados is said to be spearheading the efforts by government to revamp GBT and turn it into a Tourism authority.