The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has recorded an 8% increase for 2017 in terms of visitor arrivals to the island.
Tourism officials told local reporters that one hundred and forty-six thousand, three hundred and fifty-nine hundred visitors came to the Spice Isle last year.
According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Patricia Maher the U.S market contributed significantly to the increase in visitor arrivals.
“We have actually topped the list in terms of growth for the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s destination with registered growth in 2017”, she said.
Maher said that Grenada topped the list among regional countries with a 16% growth which equates to 67,250 tourists coming from the United States.
“So, for us it (United States) is our largest source market, it’s where we get the bulk of our visitors and we’re very excited to know that it has grown a whapping 16% year on year and we’re topping the list for Caribbean Tourism Organisation destination with growth in 2017”, she added.
Grenada also recorded increases from other markets – Canada (6%) reflecting 14, 580 visitors, Germany with 12% increase with 2,499 visitors, and the Caribbean with a 8% increase from the 27,133 visitors that came to the island mainly from the neighbouring island of Trinidad and Tobago.
GTA’s Marketing Manager, Francine Stewart attributed the heavy marketing initiatives undertaken in 2016 for the growth in the industry in 2017.
“As a result of the GTA’s successful collaboration which Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communication that started December 2016, the island has seen top coverage in some of the key travel trade and consumer newspapers and Magazines across USA, Canada and the Caribbean.
“Through this partnership, the destination hosted three group press trips, four individual media visits which resulted in media placements, travel and leisure, Forbes.com, Toronto Star, Global Mail, Essence, CNN.com, USA Today, Travel Weekly Recommend…these are just a few”, she added.
Stewart stated that GTA’s targeted messaging to these markets focused on Niche Markets that included adventure, luxury, the Chocolate industry, festivals and events.
She said that these combined strategic efforts resulted in high impact media coverage across the broadcast, print, digital and social media platforms.
According to Stewart, the campaign will continue in 2018 in targeted markets like the USA, Canada and the Caribbean.
“We will be attending travel media international market place, both in the USA and the UK (to be) held this weekend in New York. During this conference, we will meet up with top travel writers, editors and social media influences based in the tri-state area of New York, Midwest, West Coast and throughout Canada”, she said.
The GTA official announced that the next major initiative for Grenada will be its attendance at the CHCA marketplace year in Puerto Rico in which “we will host a media luncheon on Wednesday, January 31st.
Stewart said: “This will be a captivated platform to share the latest news and development with all the key trade media in attendance.
“We will continue working on enhancing the destination’s social media presence with a focus on hosting influences with high engagements and hotel”, she added.
In addition, Stewart announced that GTA will be targeting new markets in places like Boston, Texas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami during 2018.