Hurricane Ivan is history. Grenada is rebuilding and moving forward, according to Brenda Hood, Grenadas minister of tourism.

In the four months since Ivan devastated Grenada, including 90% of the homes and 70% of the hotel inventory of 2,000 rooms, the island reopened most of its major attractions, welcomed back cruise ships on Oct. 7, opened its new mega-cruise facility Dec. 12 and is well on its way to its five-year master plan of recovery and rebuilding, she said.

Speaking at CHA Marketplace, the Caribbean Hotel Associations annual confab, Hood said that close to 1,000 hotel rooms [50% of inventory] are open for visitors, electricity is close to 100% back up island wide, more than 300,000 cruise visitors are projected to call in 2005 [a 12% increase over the first nine months of 2004] and stayover visitors will fill rooms as more come on line.

However, Hood did say that stayover visitors will probably decline this year, because our inventory will not be up to 100% capacity until after the end of the year. She forecast a decrease in stayover visitors of 4.5% this year.

Adolf Fratton, general manager at LaSource, which has been closed since Ivan hit except to relief workers, said that major reconstruction would start at the end of this month.

We will reopen on Dec. 2 as a brand new property with 12 more rooms, a new beach bar, all redone guest units and hospitality suites, a rejuvenated spa and a fully-trained staff and culinary crew, he said.

Grenada was represented at Marketplace, held in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Jan. 9 to 11, by 11 hotels.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].

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