In addition, employment opportunities for Grenadians related to cruise industry growth were explored.
Visiting Grenada at the Ministry of Tourism's invitation were FCCA president Michele Paige, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.'s Frederico Gonzalez-Denton, associate vp government relations, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line's Leon Sutcliffe, director, ports of call & government relations, Caribbean and Europe.
The delegation met with stakeholders including the Marketing and National Importing Board, the Grenada Ports Authority, Market Access and Rural Enterprise Programme, the Grenada Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism. A number of ideas for collaboration and increasing Grenada’s competitiveness were discussed. The group also met with Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, tour operators and the National Taxi Association.
Grenada is now an FCCA Platinum Member and the Grenada Touriam Authority used this opportunity to send nautical development manager Nikoyan Roberts to the Platinum Associate Members Advisory Council meeting in Aruba, June 14-16. There, she met with Norwegian Cruise Line's Vanessa Heredia, manager of destination services - groups, charters & incentives, and Carla Vilches, shore excursions product development coordinator, as well as Disney Cruise Line's Arnaldo Zanonato, senior manager, Port Adventures.
Both companies were interested in customized, quality visitor experiences through well-packaged shore excursions. One of the actions emerging from these meetings was an introduction to Grenada’s tour operators.
Engaging and networking with the cruise lines is key, according to Patricia Maher, ceo, Grenada Tourism Authority. She called these meetings 'an excellent opportunity to reintroduce the Pure Grenada brand to the top industry officials, keeping us top of their minds. The insight we have gained was extremely useful and we will use it to increase cruise business to Grenada.'
In the next two years, Grenada expects its cruise business to grow more than 40%.
The tri-island destination of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is located in the southern Caribbean near St. Vincent and the Grenadines and off the coast of Venezuela.
Best known as the 'Spice Island of the Caribbean' for its nutmeg and mace production, Grenada also offers white sand beaches, 15 waterfalls, numerous hiking trails and more than 30 dive sites, including the large shipwreck Bianca C and an underwater sculpture park.