NEW YORK CITY – As part of our coverage of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Annual Caribbean Week event, Travel Agent sat down with members of the Grenada Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation and learned the destination will be making important strides to promote its culture and heritage.
The Honorable Glynis Rogers, minister of tourism for Grenada, told us about a multi-year plan to bring museums and other cultural facilities to each of the destinations historic forts— Fort George, Fort Frederick and Fort Matthew.
Included in those plans will be a museum at Fort George. The museum will teach both locals and tourist about Grenada’s history as well as its modern culture. The building’s construction will begin next year and it is scheduled to be complete by 2012, Roberts says.
Also, Fort Matthew reopened to tourists this year for the first time since closing in 1983. In fact, before 1983, the facility was used as a mental institution. It has since been cleaned up and reopened. In the past, the fort was free to see, but Roberts says she is considering a fee to see the facility, which wouldn’t be a bad idea since it is only a short walk for cruise passengers.
“You can’t rush anything, everything takes time,” Roberts says. “We know nothing happens over night so we are taking our time to make sure we do everything right. Promoting our culture and heritage is important for tourists but even more important for our locals. We are doing this first for us, for Grenada. And then we hope the tourists will come and enjoy our culture and heritage as well.”
Grenada saw a roughly 20 percent drop in stay-over arrivals last year. But U.S. arrivals are already up 6 percent from this time last year, Roberts says.
In other Grenada news, the destination will be getting back direct flights from New York when Delta Air Lines launches Saturday and Wednesday flights out of John F. Kennedy International Airport beginning July 3. Air Jamaica is also returning to Grenada with seasonal flights in both July and August.