Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Alexandra Otway-Noel has disclosed that Carnival 2014 will be launched in April and the local organisers are hoping to have a bumper season.
Addressing reporters at a post-Cabinet press briefing, the senior government minister said that the plan calls for the carnival season to be successful and government is taking steps to ensure that everything is in place for Spice Mas 2014.
“We’re putting an agenda together of events we want to do and we also have limited resources, I mean carnival is important to us and it is a revenue earner but we also have to watch how we spend our money to make sure that we have very focused events and that these events will earn revenue for Spice Mas, so that we’ll be able to alleviate the pressure on the government to put money in,” she said.
According to Otway-Noel, the Spice Mas Cooperation (SMC) is doing its own part and working diligently towards the hosting of the event.
“We want to make sure that we include all of our stakeholders, it is a democracy and we want to run Spice Mas that way as well, the people that put on carnival, the people who are creative, the people who are the band leaders and the pan players, those people have a voice and that is what we’re going towards and we are engaging with them,” she said.
Otway-Noel stressed that an agenda for the annual carnival will be put together very soon, adding that “we want to do events year round.”
The Tourism Minister also told reporters that the tourism industry has recorded an increase in the last year.
Otway-Noel said that arrivals from the UK and Europe are up and many persons in the Diaspora have expressed an interest in returning home for the summer festival.
“We are attracting a lot more attention from our own Diaspora. As you know, there are probably people through out there (the number about 300,000 Grenadians) that live outside of Grenada and I must say that our Pure Grenada campaign, our video has been making them feel pangs of homesickness, so a lot of them are booking to come back, we will have quite a number of the Diaspora returning home for carnival,” she added.
Tourism has emerged in recent years as a major revenue earner for the cash-strapped island that has been forced to turn to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) for assistance to deal with a severe fiscal imbalance problem.