Continuing the momentum from 2017’s record tourism numbers, Grenada is reporting strong growth in overall arrivals for the first half of this year.
The three performance indicators cruise, stayover and yacht arrivals show positive growth contributing to an overall double-digit destination growth of 21.2 percent from 259,218 to 314,216 during the same period in 2017, according to Grenada tourism officials.
The latest Caribbean Tourism Organisation statistics released in June ranked Grenada in the top three markets for increased growth in tourist arrivals from the main markets – the United States, Canada and Europe.
Stayover arrivals increased by 10.7 percent moving from 71,682 to 79,371. With the largest market, the U.S., showing a significant 18.11 percent increase year-to-date – 31,564 to 37,281. The U.S. market share is more than 50 percent in June and the largest feeder markets were New York, Florida and New Jersey.
Other markets exhibiting strong growth were Canada with a significant growth of 8.56 percent – 7,912 to 8,589 – and the Caribbean region with a growth of 5.78 percent – 12,639 to 13,370. The United Kingdom’s growth remained flat.
Addressing the positive numbers, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher said, “We are happy that Pure Grenada maintains this hot streak with double digit growth and the destination continues to be trending internationally. It is evident that all our hard work is paying off with these great results. Team Grenada will continue its efforts to ensure that the strong positive growth remains till the end of 2018.”
For the cruise industry, the news was equally positive. The sector grew by 26.52 percent with passengers increasing from 173,989 to 220,125. This increase was recorded despite a slight decrease of 0.64 percent in cruise ship calls for the first half of 2018 compared to 2017.
The CTO statistics ranked Grenada fourth for positive growth in cruise passenger arrivals behind Bermuda, Curacao and Martinique.
The hot streak continued in the yachting sector with arrivals increasing by 9 percent from 13,547 to 14,767 – January to June – with the number of yacht calls increasing by 8.51 percent from 3,290 to 3,570.
Manager for Nautical Development, Nikoyan Roberts was positive about the cruise industry saying, “Our private-public sector cruise consultancy project is going well and it will improve our services and offerings thereby making Grenada even more desirable in the eyes of cruise itinerary planners.”
To accommodate the increase in tourism demand, the GTA, with support from on-island partners, has implemented new experiences and attractive offerings. From the launch of the Summer Deals #NextStopGrenada campaign to the increase in airlift from New York, Atlanta and Toronto, visitors have more opportunities to experience the sights, sounds and aromas of Grenada, often referred to as the “Spice Island.”
The government of Grenada and regional airline LIAT have agreed on a partnership that will increase airlift to Grenada during the Carnival season.
LIAT’s 68-seater aircraft will fly into Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from Barbados.
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen said, “Spicemas is our signature festival and interest from all over the world is growing”.