Grenada looks to attract high-end, eco-tourism visitors to boost tourism

NEW YORK – Grenada says it intends to take full advantage of the tourism industry which is regarded as a major revenue earner for the Caribbean in a competitive global environment.

Manager for Projects and Reporting at the Grenada Tourism Authority, (GMA), Christine Noel-Horsford, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the island has gone past the teething pains of its new rebranding initiative and is on a drive to position the island as the destination of choice in the region.

“Grenada is doing pretty well, especially from the US market. Right now we are up eight per cent even given the time of our economic challenges that we are facing,” she told CMC.
“We find for us this year….in terms of the numbers, it’s looking very good for the destination.

“We’re focusing on some niche markets including the dive market (and) epicurean, you know people like food, culture and heritage so we are finding that we are not doing things the same old way that we used to.

“We are looking for new marketing opportunities and focusing on that; ensuring that people have a very good experience when they come to the island. So for us overall it has been very good for the destination,” she added.

The United Kingdom market is also a very important one for Grenada but the UK figures have trended downwards since the introduction of the British Air Passenger Duty (APD).

Noel-Horsford spoke with CMC as the 41st edition of Caribbean week gets underway here on Tuesday.

Caribbean Week is organised by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO). The annual event is a celebration of the sights, sounds, colours, talents, diverse culture and unique vacation experiences of the Caribbean.

Director of CTO-USA, Sylma Browne-Bramble, told CMC the yearly gathering remains relevant after 41 years and is important now more than ever; with the various countries reaping the benefits.

“The countries do see changes in the numbers. Our job is to create a platform for the destinations to use to promote their own national destination and to the extent that they participate in the events they see the returns on their investment,” she said.

“New York City is the hype of activity for everything and it’s one of the major markets for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. It is the hub of the media and if you are in the business of tourism you want to get the word out that the Caribbean is alive and well and tourism is thriving. There is no better place to do it than in New York.”

Noel-Horsford agrees, saying Caribbean Week is an important event for Grenada where tourism is their number one income earner.

“It allows destinations like Grenada the opportunity to come here and network with government officials, Directors of Tourism, Ministers of Tourism and to chart the way forward for tourism in the Caribbean region in general.

“So for us it’s very important to be part of that discussion and overall in terms of marketing the region and Grenada we see it as (an opportunity) to collaborate with our neighbours. So it’s very important for us to be here,” she said.

On February 14 this year Grenada, in its continuing push to promote tourism, launched a new marketing campaign which focuses on positioning the country as a high-end, eco-tourism destination.

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