By Linda Straker eTurboNews Tourism officials in Grenada are currently in the process of preparing to re-launch the island as a preferred Caribbean tourism destination both internationally and regionally.
Following the passage of Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, the Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) suspended the brand advertising of the island, but with the return to acceptable standard the board is moving speedily to recapture its market share.
International advertising is scheduled to commence during the early months of spring 2005 while the regional promotion and advertising has already started.
As part of the pre-launch activities, the director of tourism, Mr. William Joseph, last December, undertook a hectic media mission to the USA and Canada. At that time, the media was briefed on the status of Grenada's recovery thrust, with special emphasis on the progress being made in rebuilding the important tourism industry. Discussions about those aspects of Grenada's product that are available, as well as ideas for new products and plans to strengthen, enhance and refresh the major attractions were covered.
Throughout the month of January, interviews were conducted with members of various regional media houses to provide similar information, and to lay the basis for this year's Regional Campaign, which will consist of visits by public and private sector entities to Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
Statistics has indicated that the Caricom market is Grenada's biggest, with the island of Trinidad having the most visitors. Internationally the United Kingdom is first, the United States of America second and Canada third in terms of market share.
GBT public relations officer Edwin Frank said that given the devastation to the built and natural environment by Hurricane Ivan, it was prudent to subscribe to the forced suspension of advertising, since it was then impossible to fulfill the promises contained in the traditional advertisements. "The resumption of advertising will be followed by the other main elements of the re-launch where a series of road shows, reservation staff training, aggressive public relations and travel agent familiarization visits will take centre stage," Frank said.Available information regarding the current existence of hotel rooms has resulted in the Grenada Board of Tourism being satisfied that, with the prospect of having about three-quarter of the rooms on the market by October 2005, and with the rapid recovery of the natural environment, Grenada will indeed be well poised to make a big push for winter business 2005/2006.