These are good times for both travelers and the travel business in Grenada, and a conversation with Patricia Maher, CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, during Caribbean Week in New York City, revealed some important updates:
- Grenada will host this year’s Caribbean Tourism Organization’s annual SOTIC (State of the Industry Conference) Oct. 9-13. “We see this as a wonderful opportunity for people to come and experience the island,” said Maher. “We’d especially love to have travel agents and tour operators come. There’ll be lots of opportunities to experience the island. We will make it a memorable experience.” Details on participating hotels, special agent rates, and other information will be released shortly.
- “So few people really know Grenada,” she said, “but travel professionals who come will immediately realize that there’s a reason Grenada, which also includes Carriacou and Petite Martinique, is called Pure Grenada—it’s still so pristine and natural. We offer resorts and beaches, of course, but also inland adventures, snorkeling and diving, agritourism. You can hike into the countryside and see nutmeg trees, be a cacao farmer for a day at Tri-Island Farm, enjoy a farm-to-table meal at Belmont Estate.”
- Maher singled out one particular aspect of agritourism: “Nobody has chocolate like Grenada. We have four chocolate factories, and visitors can watch the ladies make it from bean to bar.” Some of the specialty chocolates are made with spices, too, which comes as no surprise; after all, Grenada is also known as the spice of the Caribbean. “We’re pure, we’re natural, organic,” she declared. “We don’t need fertilizers.”
- On May 25, the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association launched the Pure Grenada App, a complete and interactive guide to everything about the country, and it has both online and offline functionality.
- The Grenada Scuba Diving Association will host its first ever Dive Fest Oct. 11-14, and please note: This event is for everyone from absolute beginners to divemasters.
- The country has 1,500 hotel rooms plus numerous villas and guesthouses, and Maher anticipates a 26 percent increase over the next two years. For example, Kimpton Kawana Bay is going up where the old Flamboyant was. “And when 44-suite (and 9-villa) Silversands opens next March, this chic minimalist resort will give visitors another very high-end option,” she said. Speaking of high-end options, Maher added, “Don’t forget that Spice Island Beach Resort recently won a 6-diamond award for 30 years of excellence. Sir Royston—he’s our star.”
- But back to events, because this, too, is big: This Friday, June 16, JetBlue expands its JFK – Grenada schedule to seven days a week.