The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is getting ready to welcome two new flights to the Spice Isle that will bring a different clientele to the island.
Jet Blue, which will be coming from New York, will start its service on June 11 while Delta, will be putting on a route from Atlanta into the Maurice Bishop International Airport from June 6.
Although GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Rudy Grant was not able to give details about the cost and exact schedule of the flights, he did say that these two new flights represent great opportunities for Grenada in the travel industry.
“Atlanta opens up a new area for us and through our US Office and our Director of Sales, they’ll be engaging a number of travel agents, a number of tour operators working as well (with) the partners from the two airlines,” he told reporters.
According to Grant, the initial approach came through the Ministry of Tourism and is being continued by the Tourism Authority ”to engage in.
Collaborative marketing with all of our airlines”.
“So gone are the days where we give money for it’s support,” he remarked.
Some of the major airlines have requested financial pledges from Grenada in order to fly into the island from some North American and European cities.
Grant cited the case of Canada Airlines where they provide money for marketing.
“We do that with all of the airlines, we…. look at the various marketing and promotional techniques and we agree as to the best approach to go forward. As it relates to Jet Blue and Delta in particular a little later down we are going to speak specifically to those issues. They represent a great opportunity for Grenada to have enhanced airline but also to be able to work behind the gateways to ensure that we continue to bring more persons to Grenada,” he said.
GTA Chairman, Richard Strachan explained that beyond the gateways does not mean just the markets where the airlines are coming from.
“In other words, Delta is coming from Atlanta, you may think well a couple states around Atlanta or the flights that connect in Atlanta.
Not necessarily flights from the US because I understand that Delta has an alliance with KLM and so on”, he said.
“…It may very well be that this Delta flight for example may be able to bring in the European travelers that we speak about because of their connections,” he added.
In terms of Europe, Strachan indicated that research will be done to see what routes people use and what routes they are prepared to use to fly into Grenada.
“The difficulty about Europe is that it’s easier or more effective to have a direct flight from the market city. If you have to have a connecting flight then it has to connect on time and those are the things we will be exploring within this year to see how we can have synergies with some of the airlines we have coming in to connect from other cities we don’t have direct service from,” he told reporters.
Tourism has surpassed agriculture as Number One industry in Grenada
and has become a key earner of foreign exchange earnings and job creation.