ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, Thursday July 10, 2014, CMC – Grenada’s Tourism Minister Alexandria Otway Noel says despite an inherited depressed economy, her administration has recorded significant growth in the tourism industry in 2014 so far.
Otway-Noel was the key note speaker at the opening of the 1st Caribbean Symposium for Innovators in Coastal Tourism here on Wednesday.
“We may have a country that we met when we came into office with soaring unemployment and we may have been forced to raise some taxes…but that hasn’t stopped our tourism sector,” Otway-Noel told a group of regional and international tourism officials.
“We have had a 12% increase in cruise ship arrivals in 2014; We have seen a 37% increase in out Canadian market; 18.51% increase in our European market and a 20.5% increase in our US market.”
The Tourism Minister said she was confident that the country’s tourism sector was on the right tract to seeing improvements across the industry.
Recently, amidst controversy, a few changes were made to the tourism sector, which included the renaming and the restructuring of the Tourism Board to the Grenada Tourism Authority and the rebranding the tourism product from “Grenada the Isle of Spice” to “Pure Grenada; The Spice of the Caribbean.”
“I am pleased to assure you that without a shadow of a doubt that we are on the right track…I believe in the power of what we have done and if we apply what we’ve learned here, we will achieve even more.”
“Through strategic partnerships targeted investments and a commitment shared by the private and public sector alike, we could be remarkable,” the tourism minister added.
She urged local stakeholders to use the symposium to learn of the eco-tourism best practices of their bigger international counterparts with a view to adopting and implementing on a modified scale.
“Now is the time for us to apply ourselves to learn about eco-certifications and about how big hotel chains have done it right.
“We will benefit from learning how linkages are formed between tourism and agriculture and how communities have benefited in ways we haven’t imagine.”
Over the next two days, over 40 regional and international tourism officials will make presentations to a 150-strong delegation coastal tourism issues including climate change and coastal tourism, responsible coastal and marine recreation, linking sustainable tourism to local industries and the impacts and innovations surrounding cruise tourism.