by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
Grenada saw 10,987 more stayover visitors in 2017 compared to 2016 (135,372). The 2017 figures also compared favourably with 2015 which recorded 140,735 stayover visitors.
Patricia Maher, Chief Executive Officer of the GTA presented the official tourist arrivals data for 2017 at a morning a press conference on Wednesday, 24 January. These figures are from target source markets including the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, Germany and the UK.
A breakdown of the figures shows that the US still continues to be Grenada’s largest source market, recording the highest increase of 16% with 67,250 tourist arrivals to the destination. This increase positions Grenada at the top of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation’s (CTO) list of destinations with registered growth in 2017.
Other source markets that reported increases in arrivals are:
- Canada 6% increase (14,580),
- Germany 21% increase (2,499)
- Caribbean 8% increase (27,113)
- with Trinidad & Tobago registering a 14% increase (15,692)
- Europe 7% increase (5,187)
- except for UK which recorded a 7% decline (25,531).
The GTA noted with some concern the 7% decrease in the UK market and stated that efforts have been made through the hosting of a Grenada stand at London’s World Travel Market (WTM) in November 2017.
Maher was pleased with the arrival numbers from the Caribbean particularly from neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago, saying, “The 14% increase has been attributed to the GTA year-round focus which included travel agent familiarisation trips, increased advertising and a destination focused presentation to the media and travel trade.”
- Yachting arrivals (21,993) increased by 8%
- Cruise passengers (299,449) decreased slightly by 5%
- Cruise ship calls (291) increased by 13%.
Nikoyan Roberts, Nautical Development Manager, says the growth in yachting sector started trending from June last year. She said the GTA is in the process of collecting data from the marinas to determine what motivates yachters to berth in Grenada, with more efforts being made to engage key stakeholders to maximise the destination’s strengths in this sector.
Stayover visitor purchasing is deemed critical for Grenada’s economy, so 2018 strategies will include increased attendance at industry networking events, increased digital marketing spend and more authentic and memorable experiences created for all visitors.
Marketing Manager Francine Stewart said destination promotion would venture into non-traditional source markets within the US. “We are going into areas such as Boston, attending the Boston travel trade show in February; and we are also going into Texas, so we are attending the adventure show later on this year. We also visiting places like Chicago, LA and Maimi, so we are definitely moving into other markets outside of our tradition source market. This year hopefully again we would be doing a major honeymoon and romance advertising on NBC 6 which is a well-known promotion that is run on travel stations in South Florida.