The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) reports the island achieved a historic milestone in 2018, welcoming more than half a million visitors. Spread across key markets, the combined cruise, yachting and stayover arrivals for 2018 was 528,077 representing a 12.90 percent increase over 2017.
A strong performance was recorded in stayover arrivals with an increase of 9.97 percent, moving from 146,375 to 160,970 visitors with help from the festive season, in which growth of 17 percent was recorded.
Canada recorded the highest growth rate in 2018 with a 19.05 percent increase (14,586 to 17,364), followed by the U.S. at 12.38 percent (67,252 to 75,577) and the Caribbean at 6.87 percent (27,127 to 28,990). Significant growth was also recorded in non-traditional markets, such as Latin America at 13.28 percent (1,265 to 1,433) and the category representing all other parts of the world at 18.27 percent (2,934 to 3,470). The U.S. remained the top spot in market share for arrivals to the destination at 46.93 percent followed by the U.K.
The yachting sector recorded double-digit growth (10.82 percent), with visitor arrivals moving from 21,911 to 24,281—a direct result of 428 more yacht calls. As it relates to cruise arrivals, the sector grew by 14.49 percent (299,449 to 342,826) due to larger cruise ship calls.
GTA CEO Patricia Maher said the record mark was “a result of our hard work in lobbying airlines for more flights and the engagement of top cruise brand executives for more ship calls.”
Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen added that, while reaching 500,000 arrivals was a goal, they aim to “grow the pie, so that everyone gets a bigger slice.”
Additionally, the GTA launched a destination shopping video, which highlighted the destination’s diverse offerings. All levels of shopping experiences were displayed, including art, craft, glass products, clothing, spices and batik. The video will be shared locally, regionally and internationally, especially at the St. George’s Cruise Terminal.
The GTA is optimistic about 2019 and anticipates deeper collaboration with stakeholders to strive for “Pure Grenada’s” global brand recognition as a premier tourist destination.