Proposals on single yachting space in the works
They’re being prepared by a committee in Grenada ahead of negotiations with St Vincent and the Grenadines to ease sailing between the two countries.
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Thursday May 19, 2011 – Grenada is preparing for negotiations with St Vincent and the Grenadines on the creation of a Single Yachting Space (SYS) that is likely to be used as a pilot module for the development of an SYS for the wider Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
Grenada's proposals to be presented in the negotiations scheduled to begin next month are being drafted by a committee that includes representatives from the Ministry and Board of Tourism, the Grenada Ports Authority, Customs Department and various partners within the yachting sector.
The Single Yachting Space is geared at easing the movement of yachts sailing between the islands. Both nations are hoping for a simplified Customs, Immigration and Ports Authority administrative process that is electronically operated, and provides advanced notice for the clearance of yachts, in and out of the islands.
They are confident that an SYS will, among other things, increase the flow of yachting traffic from the Grenadines to Carriacou and Grenada
Tourism Minister Peter David, said the Grenada Government will be giving its fullest support to the initiative.
“We are concentrating on increasing our tourist arrival figures. We are doing so through airlift, by increasing room stock, and the yachting sector is also an area of concern,” he said.
"We believe more yachts will come into Grenada if we make it easier to sail from the Grenadines and into Grenada to enjoy what we have to offer. More visiting yachts mean more demand for the services we offer.”
Director at the Grenada Board of Tourism, Simon Stiell said the country has not been able to exploit the yachting market because of administrative difficulties in vessels moving between Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines.
He explained that the majority of yachtees travelling from north to south reach as far as Union Island and become discouraged by the process of having to clear Customs, Immigration and the Ports Authority in St Vincent and then rechecking into Grenada.
In anticipation of the SYS, the Grenada Marine and Yachting Association has already secured the necessary funding to equip the various ports of entry and other checkpoints throughout the nation.
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