“It is not organised by the government of Grenada but it’s held in Grenada and its Grenada economy that will benefit and so government is giving support to the games in Grenada.”
This was stated by Minister of Labour and Economic Development, Oliver Joseph as he sought to explain government’s involvement and support in the Grenada invitational track & field meet to be held Saturday at the national stadium at Queen’s Park.
Speaking to reporters at the weekly held post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex on Tuesday, Minister Joseph said the economic benefit for Grenada from the games will be tremendous.
He admitted that the government established Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) was giving budgetary support to the games while government was making a contribution trough the granting of concessions.
“The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has used some of their marketing budget to contribute towards the promotion of the games because no way the Grenada Tourism Authority with its marketing budget could get that kind of coverage that they get from ESPN”, he said.
“We have given concessions to the athletes for equipments and so on…all these things government have contributed because the spin-off from having thousands of people coming in to Grenada is tremendous”, he added.
According to the senior government minister, the money given to GTA by government is solely for marketing purposes.
“We give budgetary support to the GTA to do their marketing but that’s for their marketing budget and in fact every year they complain that we’re not giving them enough money to market.
“So we are giving them additional money and what better opportunity to use it than promoting the games – so, that’s where we are spending the money
Minister Joseph stressed that the local tourism body has pledged support towards the games because of the coverage they can get in marketing.
“..The support that we give is to the GTA to market Grenada and they have used some money to give support to the games in order to promote Grenada,” he remarked.
The minister stressed that there will be a spin-off effect in many areas because of Grenada’s staging of the Invitational.
“…So from the time the plane lands, there is landing fees. Then you have departure tax, hotel occupancy …and it is my understanding that for the period of the games, hotel occupancy has moved to 100% because there are some people who looking right now for hotels and they can’t get,” he said.