It’s not often that a tourism minister admits that “we never decided who we really are.”
While Alexandra Otway-Noel, Grenada’s minister for tourism, civil aviation and culture, did say that, she made it clear that the status quo no longer is the strategy going forward.
“We’re repositioning Grenada as the destination for romance, ecotourism, diving and history,” she said.
“We’re known as the Isle of Spice, but that tagline alone does not make people want to come here," Otway-Noel said. "The opening of Sandals LaSource has given us a kickstart to promote ourselves in a new way.
"We’re targeting the discerning traveler who wants an off-the-beaten path experience and who will be welcomed as a guest, not a tourist.”
Grenada already has a strong U.S. presence, and the Sandals debut in December has created a travel buzz and full flights, according to the minister.
The island currently has 1,500 guestrooms, with a goal of doubling that number within the next 10 years.
“We’re aiming for small, boutique properties," Otway-Noel said. "Grenada will never be a mass-market destination."
The newly created Grenada Tourism Authority, which replaced the tourism board, plans to hit the road and reach out to U.S. travel agents and operators with its message.
A website and marketing tools will be rolled out following a rebranding announcement on Feb. 14 with details of the strategies and promotions underway.
“Our island and our people are what we offer," she said. "Grenada has a lot of selling points, and we will highlight those that best encapsulate the destination."