From 9-13 October, the Government of Grenada and the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) hosted the annual State of the Industry Conference by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. The 5-day conference gave the GTA the opportunity to showcase its diverse offerings to the delegates from Canada, the Caribbean, the UK, the US and Europe.
During the conference, the GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Maher, spoke at a press conference about the island’s updates including its increased cruise calls, industry updates and much more. The most notable news included the announcement that the island’s room stock will total 1,900 up from the current 1,500 with the renovations and the openings of new hotels within the next 2 years. As well, there will be 18 extra cruise calls to Grenada as a result of the recent hurricanes, with the additional brands being Costa Cruises, P&O, Seabourn Cruise Lines, Windstar Cruises, and MSC Cruises. The upcoming season is already promising with a 27% increase in cruise capacity compared to last winter 2016/2017 arrivals. Just in time for these cruises, new attractions such as the Grenada High Wire Zip Line Challenge and Canopy Obstacle Course, the Savour the Spice culinary tour, and Belmont Estate’s Bean to Bar tour, are open for visitors.
“We look forward to welcoming the additional visitors and ensuring that they have memorable experiences in Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean,” said Maher.
The media members from Canada, the Caribbean, the UK, the US and Europe toured the island during the conference and were able to choose from 3 special themes. Those who wanted to visit the spice market, nutmeg processing station and Diamond Chocolate Estate were able to enjoy the ‘Black Gold, Chocolate & Rum’ experience. The ‘Nature Lovers Delight’ included river tubing, the Grenada High Wire Zip Line Challenge and Canopy Obstacle Course, and exploring Grand Etang Lake. Those interested in smelling and tasting the island’s spices chose the ‘Spicy Enchantment’ option that included a tour of the De La Grenade Industries, browsing through Laura’s Herb and Spice Garden, a lunch at La Sagesse Nature Centre and a refreshing snorkelling trip. The Saturday after the conference offered the media an opportunity to explore Grenada’s sister island, Carriacou.
The delegates found that this was an important time for the conference to be held as it was just after the recent hurricanes in the northern Caribbean. The region was able to come together to discuss how to come back stronger and how to supercharge the One Caribbean brand that is so loved all over the world and meet the needs of the new explorers. They were also able to make valuable connections, learn about the new trends and be better able to promote the destination as a whole.