Grenada reports stellar tourism performance in 2019
The three-island nation’s industry shows continued growth with increased stayover arrival numbers, the addition of new flights and the expansion of the destination’s hotel portfolio
2018 was a record-breaking year for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique as the three- island destination welcomed more than half a million total visitors to its shores. Building on this solid foundation, supported by continued aggressive public relations and marketing efforts to attract target audiences, Grenada maintained its growth momentum in 2019 which resulted in a preliminary total visitor number of 525,453 as released by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) today.
Stayover visitor arrivals, which are considered the most valuable visitor in terms of on-island spend, accounted for 162,902, a 1% increase over 2018’s bumper growth (10%) of 160,970 arrivals. With the addition of American Airlines’ new direct service from Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport and considering that one of the largest hotels on island, the Rex Grenadian, has been closed for refurbishment since May 2019, this is a good indication of the destination’s growth and high demand with intrepid travelers.
As the market share increases, so will Grenada’s accommodations portfolio with the addition of The Royalton Grenada hotel, scheduled to open on March 1, 2020 as the largest hotel on island with 269 rooms. Sandals Grenada with 257 rooms and Radisson Grenada Beach Hotel with 227 rooms will be the second and third largest hotels on island respectively. The destination will also be home to the Kimpton Kawana Bay hotel which will have 220 rooms with construction well underway on the world famous Grand Anse Beach and 100 rooms will be available by December 2020.
Cruise visitor arrivals accounted for 337,940 maintaining solid numbers after 2018’s record growth (15%) of 342,826. Plans are in place for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) to increase visits from 19 cruise calls in 2019 to 29 cruise calls in 2020 with Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Carnival Corporation’s Carnival Fascination cruise ship is planning 12 new calls to Grenada throughout the year 2021.
Grenada continues its stellar growth in yachting with preliminary visitor arrivals currently at 24,611. With the expansion of Camper and Nicholson’s marina of 160 berths, with an additional 90 completed, the world class facility at Port Louis is gearing up for major growth in the sector.
GTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Maher, stated that tourism prospects are excellent for the destination, not just for 2020 but beyond, with the announcement of a Six Senses Hotel to open in 2022. This upscale 100-room hotel project is part of a two hotel development plan at La Sagesse in the beautiful parish of St. David’s. It will be the first Six Senses brand hotel in the Caribbean. Recently, the destination was named “Top 12 to watch in 2020” in the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) Travel Trends Report 2020, the only Caribbean destination to be included in the UK global benchmark report since 2018.
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, noted the destination’s tourism partners and the industry’s allied members are looking forward to significant future growth plans throughout Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique taking into account all the new developments in the stayover, cruise and yachting sectors.