The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is proactively engaging major cruise brands, aimed at bringing more cruise passengers to its shores. Last month, top officials of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and major cruise lines visited Pure Grenada on the invitation of the Ministry of Tourism. The delegation included President of the FCCA Michele Paige, Associate VP Government Relations, Latin America & the Caribbean, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) Frederico Gonzalez-Denton and Director, Global Ports of Call & Government Relations for Carnival Cruise Lines, Leon Sutcliffe.
The three-man delegation met with stakeholders including the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), the Grenada Ports Authority (GPA), Market Access and Rural Enterprise programme (MAREP), the GTA and Ministry of Tourism. A number of ideas for collaboration and increasing Grenada’s competitiveness were discussed. The group also met with Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell then later with Tour Operators and the National Taxi Association. The valuable insights coming from the delegation included increasing business to the destination by packaging more authentic tours and emphasizing the Pure Grenada brand in all activities especially its culinary offerings. In addition, opportunities for Grenadians to receive employment opportunities were also explored.
Grenada is now a 2017 platinum member of the FCCA and the GTA used this opportunity to have Nautical Development Manager Nikoyan Roberts, attend the Platinum Associate Members Advisory Council meeting of the FCCA in Aruba June 14-16. At the conference, Mrs. Roberts capitalized by meeting with officials of Norwegian Cruise Lines and Disney Cruises. She met with Manager of Destination Services—Groups, Charters & Incentives Vanessa Heredia and Shore Excursions Product Development Coordinator Carla Vilchez of Norwegian Cruises and Senior Manager for Port Adventures Entertainment Arnaldo Zanonato of Disney Cruises. Both companies were interested in customized, quality visitor experiences through well-packaged shore excursions. One of the actions coming out of these meetings is an introduction to Grenada’s tour operator companies.
GTA CEO Patricia Maher says meeting the major players in the cruise industry and networking was key. She remarked, “It was an excellent opportunity to reintroduce the Pure Grenada brand to the top industry officials, keeping us top of their minds. The insight we have gained was extremely useful and we will use it to increase cruise business to Grenada.” In the next two years, Pure Grenada is anticipating a more than 40% growth in cruise business.
The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou, and Petite Martinique is located in the southernmost region of the Caribbean near St. Vincent and the Grenadines and off the coast of Venezuela. Grenada is best known as the “Spice Island of the Caribbean” for its nutmeg and mace production, but the lush destination draws visitors for so much more. The new Pure Grenada experience beckons visitors to its exquisite array of white sand beaches, 15 breathtaking waterfalls, countless hiking trails and more than 30 unforgettable dive sites, including the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean ‘Bianca C’ and the World’s First Underwater Sculpture Park. Grenada’s approach to hospitality is infused with a warm charm which is apparent from its luxury resorts to barefoot chic boutique hotels and villas. There are direct flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport from the US, Caribbean and Canada, making the island accessible to visitors from around the world that wish to experience Pure Grenada.