REDjet to help stem regional visitor fall-off in Grenada
ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Wednesday October 5, 2011 - Grenada is hoping the December 1 introduction of REDjet flights will help stem a significant fall-off in Caribbean visitors.
Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Peter David said the country has lost in the region of 20 000 visitors over the past years, though he did not specify the exact period. “We saw a decline over the last few years in regional tourism. We’ve lost over 20, 000 visits because of the cost of regional travel. It is extremely expensive at the moment to fly,” he said.
Minister David told a media conference Tuesday that Grenada’s air transport license board has approved REDjet’s application to service the Barbados and Trinidad route.
This followed approval by the Antigua-based Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority.
Minister David said the low-cost airline plans to operate three weekly return flights to both countries.
He also explained that the government plans to boost its regional tourism marketing to regain its market share.
“We will continue to market heavily in Trinidad, not only for Carnival but throughout the year because we believe Trinidad is a good market. Similarly, Barbados is an excellent market, not only for Grenadians coming back but for regional tourism,” he stated.
“Many persons, because of the decline in their own economies are staying closer to home for their holidays and we hope for Barbadians, for Trinidadians, for Antiguans and for Vincentians, we can market heavily in those islands and have more regional tourism.”
Regarding the possible impact this could have on the Antigua-based LIAT, David stressed that both airlines can service the Spice Isle.
“I have always held the position that LIAT must be treated, in some cases, as a public utility for the region. We need LIAT. But, at the same time, we need to ensure that there are more available flights through the region and particularly more affordable flights in the region,” he added.
Grenada will become the second OECS state to be serviced by REDjet, which plans to begin flying between Antigua & Barbuda and Guyana late next month.
REDjet already operates between Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Jamaica.