More room stock, marketing initiatives and the launch of a two-year strategic plan for tourism are in the works for Grenada, according to Peter David, minister of tourism.

David, who is attending Caribbean Week events in New York this week, said that Grenada hopes to get the plan off the ground in September.

"One part of the plan is to restructure the tourism body by creating an overall Tourism Authority as well as a marketing arm called the Product Development Co. The existing tourist board would be folded into the Tourism Authority," David said.

"We’re looking at short- and long-term strategies as Grenada recovers from the economic recession of the past two years," he said.

Tourism accounts for approximately 25% of Grenada's gross domestic product.

In the first quarter of 2011, Grenada's visitor numbers were up 2% over the same period in 2010. The country welcomed more than 100,000 stayover visitors last year. Most were from Europe, followed by the U.S. and Canada.

Cruise business brought in another 250,000 visitors, and David said the island is seeing an increase in cruise passengers who return or a land vacation.

Hotel stock stands at 1,500 rooms, but David said Grenada needs more hotels, preferably ones with well-known brands. A Four Seasons was in the works in 2007, but the development stalled when the recession took hold.

"Government is working to help developers and investors find reservoirs of capital to start or complete hotel projects," David said.

Airlift to Grenada from the U.S. "is the best we’ve had in a long time," according to the minister. American, Delta and Caribbean Airlines serve Grenada from the U.S., while British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Monarch Airlines fly from Europe. LIAT and Caribbean Airlines fly to Grenada from other Caribbean islands.


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