With a Barbadian now at the helm of its main tourism promotional agency, Grenada is making a deliberate attempt to lure more Barbadian visitors to its shores.
In fact, a team from the neighbouring Caribbean spice isle is here this week promoting travel to St George’s in the hope of boosting visitor arrivals from Bridgetown.
Speaking at a media conference this morning at the Sandals Barbados resort, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Rudy Grant said officials from Grenada and its sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique would be meeting with travel agents as part of the This is The Life promotion.
Grant, a Barbadian, said the move was the first step in cementing relations between the two destinations. He pointed out that while the GTA had embarked on a major regional promotional drive, starting with Trinidad about two years ago, it had done very little in Barbados over the years to “stimulate the growth of that important source market”.
However, Grant acknowledged that Barbados currently accounts for about 13 per cent of Grenada’s total visitor arrivals from the Caribbean.
“We have been able, during the period January to July, to observe overall, in our visitor arrivals, an increase of 22 per cent and we anticipate that as we continue throughout the year that we will see increases as well,” he said.
“We are in Barbados because Barbados is an important source market. Within the Caribbean region, between the period January and July, we have seen an increase of ten per cent in our visitor arrival numbers. Fifty-three per cent of our visitors come from Trinidad and Tobago and 13 per cent comes from Barbados,” said the former Barbados Labour Party (BLP) public relations officer and ex-parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport here.
He also pointed out that the Caribbean is Grenada’s third largest source market for tourists after the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We thought it very important to come here this week and to meet with all of the travel agents in Barbados to tell them about Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and to encourage more Barbadians to visit the tri-island state,” said Grant, who sees significant potential for growth.
Also addressing the news conference, GTA’s Marketing Manager Francine Stewart spoke of the range of cultural and other activities that Grenada has on offer.
“We think and we know that when you come over we can give you a different experience from what you are used to,” Stewart said in encouraging Barbadians to visit.