Tourism officials in Grenada have extended an open invitation to their neighbours in Barbados to visit the Spice Isle.
Last evening, members of the Grenada Tourism Authority met with travel agents and other representatives of the local tourism industry at the Savannah Hotel to share with them several of the attractions in St George’s and the sister islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique.
“It feels a bit strange, to be honest with you, standing here talking to a room-full of Barbadians and telling you all why you should come to Grenada. It’s easy to do it in London, it’s easy to do it in New York, Toronto, Montreal, [and] I’m here now trying to convince you in beautiful Barbados to come to Grenada,” CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher, told the audience.
While acknowledging that there are several similarities between the islands, Maher stressed there are many unique selling points to be found in Grenada.
“First and foremost, the topography makes us different. Being a volcanic island we have numerous waterfalls; in fact we officially promote 15 of them and there are many more to explore,” she said.
Another attraction, Maher noted, that sets Grenada apart from the rest of the region is its abundance of spices.
“We have nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger… and listen we’ve got fruit trees everywhere.
St George’s is also one example of how an island’s tourism product is being promoted through agriculture, specifically the cocoa crop.
The Grenada Chocolate Festival, now into its fifth year, has become one of the main activities on the island’s calendar of events.
“Cocoa grows everywhere in Grenada, and the beauty of the cocoa is that we’ve evolved from being, ten years ago, one chocolate factory that converted this amazing cocoa into chocolate. Now we have five chocolate factories, and you can learn all about the tree to bar experience.
“So the nice thing about the chocolate [is] we even have our own dedicated chocolate festival,” Maher added. This year’s event is scheduled for May 31st to June 7.
Other upcoming events include the Grenada Music Festival in June and Spicemas in August.
Marketing Manager of the GTA, Francine Stewart said the current promotion aims to encourage more Caribbean nationals to explore the region.
“We want the region to be one, it’s one Caribbean. And we want Caribbean people to vacation in Caribbean islands, so this is why we are here to ensure that Bajans can come and sample and taste and experience what another island has to offer,” Stewart said.
CEO of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association Rudy Grant welcomed the promotion.
“I think it’s very good for us to be able to support each other in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Tourism Organisation speaks of One Voice, One Sea, One Caribbean, and essentially seeks to collaborate at the level of the Caribbean to bring more visitors to our region. So that’s a positive I think. It’s important for us as Caribbean and CARICOM partners to collaborate.
“I also think it’s important for us to support each other in the region. The reality is that if we as a CARICOM people are going to get closer then we do need to know where each other lives and we need to know about each other’s culture, our way of life,” Grant said.
Maher told Barbados TODAY she is also pleased with the performance of the tourism sector.
“We’re really excited about our first quarter results because our stayover visitors were up over five per cent year on year. And bearing in mind we had double digit growth last year, to have further growth in 2019 of over five per cent is a really good sign for us, and it shows that we’re growing, and we’re growing in the right direction and the word is getting out. Because once you come to Grenada it sells itself,” she said.