The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) is reporting marginal visitor arrivals growth during the first half of 2019 following the country’s double-digit tourism increase in 2018. Nevertheless, GTA officials say the country will achieve a five percent increase in overnight visitor arrivals by the end of 2019.
Grenada hosted 318,559 visitors between January and June of this year compared with 314,916 during the same period in 2018, a slight 1.15 percent increase. However, GTA officials say momentum will build significantly in the coming months due to “increased airlift from some of our major airlines, Jetblue, LIAT, Caribbean Airlines and American Airlines, for the carnival and winter seasons.”
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Overnight, land-based visitors to Grenada grew by 3.81 percent year-over-year in the first six months of 2019 compared with 2018, totaling 82,399 visitors staying in hotels, guesthouses and villa accommodations, said GTA officials.
Overnight visitors’ length of stay in Grenada averaged 8.5 days during the first half of 2019; US-based travelers accounted for 45 percent of the island’s visitors followed by UK travelers, representing 17 percent, and finally Canadians at 12 percent.
“Our focus is on expanding our reach in our traditional source markets,” said GTA officials in a statement. “We now have four international gateways in the US for the upcoming winter season including JFK New York, Miami International, Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina.”
Other Grenada travel segments demonstrated slight to flat growth in the first half of 2019. Cruise-ship arrivals during the period totaled 223,051 passengers, a modest increase of 1.33 percent compared with the 220,125 shipboard vacationers recorded in 2018.
Meanwhile, the territory’s yachting sector arrivals were flat during the six-month period with 15,318 arrivals this year compared with 15,420 in 2018, said officials. “Grenada’s geographical location south of the hurricane belt should augur well for these numbers in the coming months,” GTA officials noted.
GTA is planning professional tour guide training in September “for our public and private stakeholders to enhance the customer experience in the destination.” The group is also “actively encouraging more [visitor spending] in the destination with the production of a new shopping video and the packaging of immersive experiential tours.”