The tri-island destination focuses on tourism development that benefits locals
As a tourist office, Petra Roach, the CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority, says they’re in the process of rejigging and recalibrating their efforts to focus on product development and not solely marketing.
“One of the things as a sustainable destination is that we recognize that it’s not about ensuring that we constantly have growth in terms of the numbers but what we want to do is ensure that we are a little bit more outside of the box when it comes to what people do when they’re on the island,” she said. “We’ve got amazing natural assets, we’ve got a very safe environment, so why not exploit that? Approximately 35% of our total budget will go into product enhancement and product development.”
In terms of sustainable tourism, a key focus will be on developing experiences that benefit locals.
“In a lot of cases the host community gets left behind so we really want to ensure that everything we’re doing in terms of product development and enhancements has the local community’s involvement,” she added.
Grenada’s Moliniére Underwater Sculpture Park, which opened in 2006, is now home to 31 new sculptures. The sculptures remained above water until October so locals and visitors who can’t swim were able to view the additions. The Coral Carnival is the main part of the new expansion featuring 25 underwater sculptures inspired by the destination’s Spicemas festival.
“I don’t know if a lot of people even know why it was created but we had Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and the area around Moliniére Bay was absolutely devastated and along comes world renowned sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor and he created the world’s first underwater sculpture park,” she said. “For the extension, we ran a local design competition and the winning design was a local guy called Alleyne Gulston. Wet Fete-Spicemas Underwater is an up-close look at important figures of Grenada’s biggest cultural celebration.
There are also four additional new sculptures which were created by local artist Troy Lewis.
Notably, Grenada bound travellers will be able to experience some new accommodation options in 2024, including the first Six Senses property to open in North America and the Caribbean. Six Senses La Sagesse will open in January with two-level pool suites and 15 villas designed with natural, renewable, and repurposed materials.
“It will be the first of its kind in the Western hemisphere,” she said.
Another new opening will be the Silversands Beach House, sister property to Silversands Grenada, set to open in the first quarter of 2024. The property overlooks Portici Beach and will feature 28 purposely-designed accommodations.
Lift to Grenada from Canada is strong as Air Canada resumed flights on Oct. 29 with four weekly flights, up from two weekly flights last season, and Sunwing resumed weekly service on Nov. 5.
In other news, Grenada will host the CTO’s Sustainable Tourism Conference from April 22-24, 2024.