Grenada’s new “Pure Grenada” tagline is designed to call attention to its unspoiled landscapes, rainforests, hiking trails and waterfalls as well as to its unspoiled and undeveloped sister islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique.
The destination’s moniker for years as the “Isle of Spice” still holds true, as its production of nutmeg and mace is tops in the region, but as niche markets have evolved, targeting these areas has become a key element in the island’s tourism strategy.
“Romance, soft adventure, sailing and yachting, cruising and diving are our key niche markets,” said minister of tourism Clarice Modeste-Curwen. “We’re going after these markets, but as our tourism industry expands we do not want to lose our authenticity.
“We want to maintain a balance so that we can continue to offer our visitors an intimate, ecofriendly experience on a smaller island in terms of accommodations, attractions and events.
“We’re a festival-driven island, from sailing regattas and carnivals to chocolate festivals and fishing tournaments, events that help drive those special-interest travelers to us,” she said.
The island is home to a range of accommodations from small inns, guesthouses and villas to the AAA Five-Diamond, 64-suite, all-inclusive Spice Island Beach Resort. The 257-room-room Sandals La Source Grenada, which opened in 2013 and is the largest property on the island, has helped drive traffic to Grenada since its opening, according to Modeste-Curwen.
The only other resort that flies a well-known hotel flag is the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, with 229 rooms.
JetBlue, which currently flies four roundtrips a week from New York, will add a fifth weekly flight on Jan. 9 through Jan. 30 and resume again on Feb. 13. The carrier will also offer its Mint business class service this winter between January and April.
“There are some projects in the works, including a renovation of the Flamboyant Hotel and Villas, which closed in July,” Modeste-Curwen said. “New owners plan to redo several of the villas, but the hotel will open under another name when it does open.”
From January through June, Grenada welcomed more than 74,000 stayover visitors, a 7.6% jump over the same period in 2015. Cruise traffic surged 33%, to 207,800 cruise passengers.
And it will host the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Industry Conference in 2017, marking the first time that the island has served as the venue.
JetBlue currently offers four roundtrip flights a week from New York and will add a fifth weekly flight in January. An earlier version of this article stated that the carrier only offered two weekly flights.