The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has confirmed reports circulating in the country in the past week that two of its top officials including the head of its Marketing Department, Sheldon Keen-Douglas have been dismissed.
In a release issued on Tuesday, the authority said that Keens-Douglas and Marcus Christopher no longer function in the capacities of Director of Marketing and Marketing Executive II respectively.
“The GTA wishes to thank Messrs Keens-Douglas and Christopher for the four months they have spent with the organisation and to wish them the very best in their future endeavours”, said the release.
The authority announced that the marketing functions at GTA have been delegated to the former overseas based tourism official, Christine Noel-Horsford who it said “is qualified and experienced in the area of tourism management, sales, and marketing”.
The dismissal of Keens-Douglas came as a shock to many in the country following his earlier stints in some high profile jobs with telecommunications provider, LIME and the Spice Island Beach Resorts.
THE NEW TODAY failed last week to solicit a comment from the former GTA Marketing official on reports that were circulating about his impending dismissal.
Keens-Douglas indicated that he was in a meeting and would return the call after the session.
However, he never did but was spotted later in the day at the airport apparently leaving the country for Barbados.
This newspaper understands that GTA had put Keens-Douglas on a 3-month probational period but decided to sever relations with him since it was felt that he was not the ideal person for the post.
An inside source said that some board members at the authority were taken aback by Keens-Douglas’ alleged demeanour at a session put together to review the performance of staffers since the creation of the new authority earlier in the year.
Following is the full text of a release issued by GTA on its performance and activities in recent times:
After four (4) months of operation, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is forging ahead with its mandate to market and promote Grenada in a manner designed to increase economic activity and improve the social well-being of our citizens.
This objective is being pursued through an agenda that facilitates sustainable development, enhances the visitor experience, and strengthens stakeholder relationships.
The GTA’s marketing strategies are focused on further emphasising our niche markets of diving, yachting, romance, cruise, and adventure. We are pursuing strong partnerships with our travel partners in the regional and international markets, particularly the USA, UK, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Trinidad & Tobago is Grenada’s largest tourism market within the Caribbean, contributing more than fifty percent (50%) of the total regional visitor arrivals.
The peak visiting times are July & August, which coincides with our August Carnival festivities. The GTA joins the Spicemas Corporation for the launch of Spicemas in Trinidad on the 9thMay, 2014.
This partnership provides the opportunity for the GTA to assist Spicemas Corporation with the marketing and promotion of our carnival while at the same time creating a platform for the GTA to engage the travel trade in Trinidad & Tobago to promote Grenada.
The partnership with Spicemas Corporation is an example of the type of smart partnerships which the GTA is pursuing.
The focus on smart partnerships provides the opportunity for the amplification of scarce resources. This is achieved by the GTA intensifying its collaboration with stakeholder partners in such a manner that the utilisation of the partners’ pooled resources provides greater benefits.
The Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Transatlantic Race which is being supported by the Grenada Tourism Authority and Camper and Nicholsons Marina is another example of the type of smart partnerships being pursued by the GTA.
The 3rd Executive Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism is being hosted in Grenada from the 9th-11th July this year. This is an important tourism event. A conference of this magnitude supports our vision of pursuing sustainable growth in an environmentally sustainable manner.
This Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) CREST (Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies) Symposium will attract coastal and marine innovators who are dedicated to sustainable tourism and its implementation strategies.
As the GTA progresses with its tourism mandate there have been some human resource
changes. Mr. Sheldon Keens-Douglas and Mr. Marcus Christopher no longer function in the capacities of Director of Marketing and Marketing Executive II respectively.
The GTA wishes to thank Messrs Keens-Douglas and Christopher for the four months they have spent with the organisation and to wish them the very best in their future endeavours.
The marketing functions at the GTA have been delegated to Mrs. Christine Noel-Horsford who is qualified and experienced in the area of tourism management, sales, and marketing.
Mrs. Noel-Horsford spent more than fifteen (15) years creating new avenues for the development of Grenada’s tourism industry. She is supported by eight (8) competent members in the marketing department.
On 2nd May, 2014 the GTA team was strengthened with the addition of Ms. Alison Hall as Quality Assurance Manager and Ms. Chrislyn Lashington as Corporate Communications Officer.
Ms. Hall will be principally involved in licensing tourism enterprises and will be responsible for the development and enforcement of standards throughout the tourism industry.
Ms. Lashington will collaborate with the media, our stakeholder partners, and execute an integrated internal and external communications strategy.
Over the next few weeks and months, the GTA looks forward to continuing its work and to report on its stewardship to the people of Grenada.
The Grenada Tourism Authority continues to progress with its commitment to enhance and promote our tourism product for the social, cultural, and economic well-being of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique.