Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), Barbadian Rudy Grant is optimistic about increased passenger airlift into the country.
Speaking to reporters in St. George’s recently, Grant said that one of the mandates of the authority is to ensure that there are sufficient flights coming into the island to ensure a viable tourism industry in the Spice Isle.
The CEO is back from New York where he attended meetings of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) and to dialogue with some of the island’s airline partners to discuss the way forward for airlift in Grenada.
Grant described airlift as a critical success factor for the development of Grenada’s tourism sector.
He spoke of holding talks with Delta that started flying into the island from June 6th 2015 and Jet Blue whose inaugural flight was June 11, 2015.
“We would have looked at the performance of the flight and we would’ve talked about enhancing our marketing co-operative action to ensure that there is greater action taking place behind the major gateways for the Atlanta hub being Minneapolis, Detroit, DC and also LA”, he said.
“…Atlanta is a very important Hub for Delta… so you find that quite a number of other areas in the United States; you have aircraft flying into Atlanta. So Atlanta is very important to us and what we are going to do in partnership with Delta is to ensure with respect to those major gateways that I spoke about, that we engage in some marketing actions to drive more business through the Atlanta hub,” he added.
Grant was optimistic about seeing an increase in airlift from Jet Blue because when the airline started flying into the island last year, it was only offering two flights per week but that has now doubled..
“Jet Blue started on the 11th of June in 2015 with two flights a week. We now have Jet Blue operating Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays…four times a week and we are very happy with the performance that we are seeing with Jet Blue and we intend to further enhance our relationship with them,” he said.
The GTA boss also announced that the authority will be engaging in cooperative marketing options with the Caribbean’s number one Airline, LIAT, as well as engage Air Canada.
“Any given month, the majority of visitors to Grenada are transported by either LIAT or American Airlines.
It changes from some months, depending on the months … “…LIAT is a very important partner and we started talking to them…”, he remarked.
“… We made contact with Amerijet and we are concluding a time to have some discussions with them as well about enhancing cooperative marketing,” he said.
In recent years, tourism has emerged as a major income-generating sector and area for employment generation in the Grenadian economy.