THE TRI-ISLAND DESTINATION REPORTS INCREASED CRUISE, YACHTING AND STAY-OVER ARRIVALS FOR FIRST HALF OF 2018
Written by RIA MURRAY on July 13, 2018
Continuing the momentum from 2017’s record tourism numbers, Grenada has reported strong growth in overall arrivals for the first half of 2018. The three performance indicators — cruise, stay-over and yacht arrivals showed positive growth contributing to an overall double-digit destination growth of 21.2% from 259,218 to 314,216 over the same period in 2017. The latest Caribbean Tourism Organization CTO statistics released in June ranked Grenada in the top three markets for increased growth in tourist arrivals from main markets such as the USA, Canada and Europe.
Stay-over arrivals increased by 10.7% 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 US market share is over 50% 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% (7,912 to 8,589), and the Caribbean region with a growth of 5.78% (12,639 to 13,370). The UK’s growth remained flat, year on year (13,285 to 13,200).
“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,” said CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Patricia Maher.
For the cruise industry, the news was equally positive. The sector grew by 26.52% with passengers increasing from 173,989 to 220,125. This increase was recorded despite a slight decrease of 0.64% in cruise ship calls for the first half of 2018 over 2017. The CTO statistics ranked Grenada 4th 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% from 13,547 to 14,767 (Jan-June) with the number of yacht calls increasing by 8.51% from 3,290 to 3,570.
Manager for Nautical Development Nikoyan Roberts was positive with her forecast for the cruise industry: “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 the Spice Island of the Caribbean.
Now through October 31, Grenada’s extended summer season provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy up to a 50 percent discount on hotel rates along with room upgrades, complimentary massages, child discounts, complimentary yoga classes, tour markdowns and much more.
Marketing Manager, Francine Stewart said the GTA is continuously seeking high return opportunities which promote awareness and get people to book Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. She said, “Our recently launched loyalty rewards attached to our Pure Grenada Specialist programme will encourage more travel agents to sell Pure Grenada experiences, while our recent appearance on the Price is Right TV Show means the destination was broadcast to more than 5 million people in the US alone.”
Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation, Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, reported that 2,260 flights came to the destination during the first half of the year – an increase of 24.6% over the same period in 2017 (1,814); with notable increases from Air Canada, LIAT and private aircrafts. She added that these overall performance numbers for Grenada is proof that the country is moving forward in 2018.