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Tourism numbers up in Grenada

Tourism numbers up in Grenada
St George’s, Grenada (FILE)

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St George’s – The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) says the island had for a third consecutive month commencing in September, recorded a significant increase in visitor arrivals over the benchmark year of 2019.

It said available data suggested that November is the highest ever, with a total of 14 232 visitors, representing a 17 per cent increase over 2019 figure. December is also projected to surpass the previous high of December 2019.

The GTA said that this last quarter of 2022 has seen the return of all international flights into Grenada, including both Air Canada with twice weekly service and Sunwing Airlines every Sunday from Toronto.

It said Condor Airlines, from Frankfurt also returned with a direct flight service every Sunday and British Airways expanded their flight schedule from London Gatwick by adding a third flight to Maurice Bishop International Airport on Sundays. Regionally, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) moved to provide a daily service from the twin island republic.

The GTA said in addition, Grenada also hosted a number of major conferences last month, including the Caribbean Examination Council’s (CXC) annual Ministerial Summit, the Caribbean Society of Endoscopic Surgeons, and the AGM of the Caribbean Chambers of Commerce.

Grenada also hosted the second annual Tour Operators Marketplace resulting in tour operators from the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada meeting with local hoteliers and tourism stakeholders for one-on-one meetings as well as to get a first-hand look at hotels and attractions and visit sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Tourism numbers up in Grenada
Petra Roach (FILE)

“During the pandemic, we did a lot of groundwork putting systems in place to create a more efficient operation and also to evaluate our activity. We engaged new PR teams in North America and the UK and strengthened our overseas sales teams,” said GTA chief executive officer, Petra Roach.

“Our digital footprint has expanded significantly which has given us a much more cost-effective marketing reach.  A lot of time was prioritised for deepening the relationships with our distribution channels in the marketplace…to better understand how their businesses aligns with our product.

“We continue to build our brand equity so that travellers keep Grenada in their consideration set of destinations they want to visit. We are laser focused on attracting visitors who want to take advantage of our safe environment, numerous community initiatives and who want to get out and about,” Roach added.

Tourism Minister Lennox Andrews said “we are heartened to see our arrival figures rebound so strongly with September, October and November showing increases of 11, six and 17 per cent respectively over the previous banner year of 2019. This is historically the highest November arrivals recorded.”

He said the US market has shown the strongest rebound and represents 61 per cent of overall visitation.

“We expect that market to finish the year 2022 with a two per cent growth over 2019 which, given the fact that Grenada opened its ports only in April of this year, shows how strong our recovery has been. It speaks to a sound and focused strategy where connectivity and accessibility to our tri-island state remain highly prioritized.

“We as a government are committed to ensuring that we provide every opportunity for our people to benefit from this industry,” Andrews said. (CMC)