A strong performance was recorded in stay over arrivals with an increase of 9.97%, moving from 146,375 to 160,970 visitors with special mention given to the bumper Christmas season in which a growth of 17% was recorded.
Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 with a 19.05% increase (14,586-17,364), followed by the USA at 12.38% (67,252-75,577) and the Caribbean at 6.87% (27,127-28,990). Significant growth was also recorded in non-traditional markets that included Latin America at 13.28% (1,265-1,433) and the category representing all other parts of the world at 18.27% (2,934-3, 470). The USA maintains the top spot in market share for arrivals to the destination at 46.93% followed by the United Kingdom.
The yachting sector recorded double-digit growth of 10.82%, with visitor arrivals moving from 21,911 to 24,281, a direct result of 428 more yacht calls. As it relates to cruise arrivals, the sector grew by 14.49% (299,449-342,826) due to larger cruise ship calls.
Speaking about Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique’s performance, Grenada Tourism Authority’s (GTA) Chief Executive Officer Patricia Maher said,
“ We are delighted to surpass the historic 500,000 mark. 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.”
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen also expressed her delight with the destination’s performance. She noted,
“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.”
Additionally, the GTA launched a destination shopping video, which highlighted the destination’s diverse offerings. All levels of shopping experiences were displayed including art, craft, glass products, clothing, spices and batik. GTA Product Development Manager Kirl Hoschtialek, says, “The shopping video is one of our strategies in improving the destination’s profile as it relates to shopping experiences which were highlighted in visitor surveys as needing improvement.” The video will be shared locally, regionally and internationally especially at the St. George’s Cruise Terminal.
The GTA is optimistic about 2019 and anticipates deeper collaboration with stakeholders to strive for Pure Grenada’s global brand recognition as a premier tourist destination.