ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Monday January 14, 2019 – Grenada achieved a historic milestone in 2018, welcoming more than half a million visitors to the destination’s shores.
Spread across key niche markets, the combined cruise, yachting and stay over arrivals for last year was 528,077 representing a 12.9 per cent increase over 2017.
“We are delighted to surpass the historic 500,000 mark,” Grenada Tourism Authority’s (GTA) Chief Executive Officer Patricia Maher said. “It is a result of our hard work in lobbying airlines for more flights and the engagement of top cruise brand executives for more ship calls. I would like to thank our stakeholders for their support in ensuring our visitors continue to have wonderful experiences in the destination.”
A strong performance was recorded in stay over arrivals with an increase of 9.97 per cent, moving from 146,375 to 160,970 visitors with special mention given to the bumper Christmas season in which a growth of 17 per cent was recorded.
Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 with a 19.05 per cent increase, followed by the United States at 12.38 per cent and the Caribbean at 6.87 per cent. Significant growth was also recorded in non-traditional markets that included Latin America at 13.28 per cent and the category representing all other parts of the world at 18.27 per cent. The US maintains the top spot in market share for arrivals to the destination at 46.93 per cent, followed by the United Kingdom.
The yachting sector recorded double-digit growth of 10.82 per cent, a direct result of 428 more yacht calls. As it relates to cruise arrivals, the sector grew by 14.49 per cent due to larger cruise ship calls.
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Clarice Modeste Curwen expressed her delight with the destination’s performance.
“Achieving 500,000 arrivals has been a landmark goal for the destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. It is a testament to the growing island’s influence in the marketplace and industry growth. But we will not stop there as we want to grow the pie so that everyone gets a bigger slice. To do that, we must continue to keep our islands pure, share our warmth and hospitality with visitors, as well as deliver high quality professional service,” she said.
The GTA said it is optimistic about 2019 and anticipates deeper collaboration with stakeholders to strive for Grenada’s global brand recognition as a premier tourist destination.