Strategy and innovation.
This will be the focus of newly appointed Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), Rodney George who has been performing the role for the past three months.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference, George said that tourism is very important to the economic well being of a small island like Grenada and GTA has a pivotal role to play in ensuring that there is success in the sector.
GTA is tasked with the responsibility of marketing and promoting the destination, and coming up with strategic and innovative ways to increase visitor arrivals to the island.
According to George, the authority will have “to work with our partners” to ensure there is growth in the industry.
“…We have to work with our management to come up with innovative ideas, whether it is marketing, whether it is product development…digital marketing, the use of the Internet, the use of Social Media”, he said.
George told reporters that GTA is presently taking a hard look “at the use of Digital Marketing and using web-based advertising etc to promote our whole marketing efforts”.
He stated the tourism body has a pool of very talented and well qualified individuals to help fulfill its mandate but there are challenges which are beyond their control.
“These are difficult times, difficult economic times but we (need) a good and timely flow of funds in order for us to execute a strategy, in order for us to execute a mission”, he said.
“Our funding comes from the government, this is the investment they are making so that we can do what we have to do to promote the industry but that is one challenge…”, he added.
The GTA Chairman referred to another challenge in the industry as that of airlift into country, noting that if there is no airlift then there will not be visitors.
George stressed that he has met with a number of stakeholders in the industry since taking up the position.
He announced that GTA will be embarking on a training exercise at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) in collaboration with the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC).
“One of the first initiatives that I have is to try and improve the Customer Service experience at the international airport. This we hope to do by organising a series of training workshop and we are going to try to do this with collaboration with the GIDC.
“That’s something that may seem small to certain people but when you as a visitor, when you get to an airport your first point of contact is with Immigration and Customs and you really form the impression of the country by that interaction and of course when you’re leaving, you have airport security…if you get a bad impression when you leaving it doesn’t make the overall customer experience a good one.
THE NEW TODAY has been told that some hoteliers and visitors have been complaining in recent times about the attitude of some of the young Customs Officers at MBIA.