The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) says the country -achieved a historic milestone in 2018 welcoming more than half a million visitors to the island.
The GTA said that combined cruise, yachting and stay over arrivals for 2018 was 528,077 representing a 12.90 per cent increase over 2017.
A strong performance was also 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.
Speaking about Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique’s performance, Chief Executive Officer of the GTA 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 Clarice Modeste Curwen also 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.”
Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 followed by the USA and the Caribbean .
Significant growth was also recorded in non-traditional markets that included Latin America and the category representing all other parts of the world .
The USA maintains the top spot in market share for arrivals to the destination at followed by the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the yachting sector recorded double-digit growth 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 per cent due to larger cruise ship calls.
Additionally, the GTA launched a destination shopping video, which highlighted the destination’s diverse offerings.
The GTA has expressed optimisem about 2019 and anticipates deeper collaboration with stakeholders to strive for Pure Grenada’s global brand recognition as a premier tourist destination.