Market Manager, Canada, Grenada Tourism Authority
How have you been coping during the last few months and how have you been keeping busy?
The last few months seems like an eternity, but with the support of my family and close friends, we have endured and are cautiously optimistic that this pandemic will be behind us soon. My family and I have taken up fishing and my son and I have been cycling on a daily basis and we have also taken up baking. We have a few delicious dessert recipes that we are of the opinion can be featured on Master Chef!
Since the pandemic, the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has had to reimagine our initial strategy as planes were not flying, in person meetings were discouraged and social distancing was recommended. We started focusing on finding new ways to promote the destination and have had a series of webinars where we have been showcasing the destinations offering.
For example, we have had webinars on our Sister Islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, our chocolate industry, our rum distilleries, our adventure offerings, romance in Grenada, and villa accommodations.
“COVID-19 has really turned the world upside down, but because of this we have stepped up to the challenge of coming up with ways to keep the economy going and keeping citizens & visitors safe.”
Grenada Tourism Authority
What do you miss most about travelling?
Travel is ingrained in every fibre of my being and my first job in Grenada after leaving school was with a small airline that did charters to neighbouring islands. My dream was to become a pilot and I was on my way to fulfilling that dream when unforeseen events transpired, and it got sidetracked. I still get excited boarding a flight and am looking forward to that window seat where I can stare aimlessly at the sky and the spectacle below, we really do live on a beautiful planet. I miss meeting new people, seeing new places and learning about new cultures as I explore regions I have never visited before. Oh, and I miss getting that new stamp on my passport, I’m like a kid in that respect.
Where’s the first place you want to go and why?
This goes without saying, but the first place I’ll be heading is Grenada. I can’t wait to take a swim in Grand Anse Beach, which was named the best beach in the world by Conde Nast in 2019. Or sit under Annadale Waterfall as the water crashes on my body massaging every inch. I can’t wait to have lunch at 360 Degrees Grill and Lounge while taking in the beautiful view of the Carenage and watching the yachts in the harbour while I sip on a cold beer. I’m also looking forward to Street Food Wednesday at Dodgy Dock and diving the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Molinere. Finally, I look forward to catching up with family & friends and reminiscing about “back in the day.”
Is there anything agents should know about Grenada?
Agents as well as visitors should know that Grenada is geographically located outside of the hurricane belt and because of this we are considered a year-round destination. We are a fun-loving people, always going the extra mile to make visitors feel welcome. The destination is safe and we encourage people to leave their accommodation and go explore the island, mingle with the locals and of course purchase our local spices and chocolate. There is something for everyone in Grenada so if you are into diving, snorkelling, hiking, kayaking, river tubing or just want to sit on the beach and soak up the sand and sun, we have you covered. And, what great about Grenada is you do not take you over an hour to get anywhere, from the beach to the rain forest in 30 minutes or from the shore to any dive site within 20 minutes.
We also have the Grenada Specialist program www.puregrenadaspecialist.com where agents can learn all about Grenada and after completing a short quiz can be entered to win amazing prizes including a spot on our Fam trip.
What’s something Canadian visitors shouldn’t leave Grenada without doing or tasting?
Where do I begin? I would recommend that every Canadian visitor take an island tour, this tour would give you good taste of what Grenada to offer. As Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg, the tour would take you to a nutmeg processing plant, a chocolate factory as we are considered the Caribbean’s capital of chocolate and a waterfall. You would have lunch at Belmont Estate where the old plantation house has been converted to a restaurant serving up some delicious local food and tasty local drinks, remember to ask for the nutmeg ice cream. After lunch you would be taken to a crater lake in our rainforest and if that isn’t enough you may still have time to have a swim in one of our white of black sand beaches. I would also recommend exploring our many dive sites and wrecks and if you are an advanced diver the Bianca C is a must see as it’s the largest wreck in the Caribbean.
Not to be forgotten are our sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique which is 1.5 hours away by ferry from mainland Grenada. These islands are charming and laid back and offer excellent dives sites and beautiful beaches. These islands are rich in their West African and boat building culture and hold an annual regatta, Maroon and String Band Music Festival and Carnival.
As Grenada’s National dish is Oildown, I would highly recommend it. It’s a one pot cook-up of local provision, dumplings, and salt meat and it’s delicious. Our nutmeg ice cream is also a must have as well as a sampling of chocolate from the different chocolate factories, we have five.
There’s been a lot of talk about the industry coming out better on the other side of COVID-19. What are your hopes?
COVID-19 has really turned the world upside down, but because of this we have stepped up to the challenge of coming up with ways to keep the economy going and keeping citizens & visitors safe. All sectors of the Grenadian economy (Hotels, Restaurants, Yachting, Taxis, etc.) had to be trained in COVID-19 best practices and certified by the ministry of Health.
In addition, the protocols for entry into the destination has been unquestionably one of the best worldwide and as such we have kept the spread of COVID-19 at bay, with zero cases on the island. As a result of this meticulous work Grenada has been awarded the Safe Travels designation from the World Travel & Tourism Council. My hope is for us as a global community to work together and follow the advice of the medical professionals so we can get this virus under control and we can start flying again. I’ve missed my industry friends and can’t wait to meet in person so we can catch up.
Do you have anything to add?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity, it really has been an exciting exercise. Grenada has recently upgraded Canada as a Low Risk Green Zone Country, meaning Canadians no longer have to quarantine upon arrival into Grenada once proof of a negative PCR test was given within 7 days prior to departure from Canada.
The Grenada Tourism Authority has recently launched its “Pure Grenada Just for you” Campaign. This new lifestyle campaign showcases the three-island nation of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique’s varied bespoke offerings while observing safety, health and wellbeing. The campaign invites visitors to discover and explore immersive cultural experiences while having peace of mind that their health and safety is being protected.