Business & Finance

Grenada: Accelerating to Full Recovery

GRENADA, October 12, 2005. Grenada was wrecked by the might of Hurricane Ivan over a year ago. Losing some 90 per cent of her homes Grenada is now accelerating to a full recovery. The Grenada Board of Tourism reports that efforts to rebuild and enhance the tourism industry are successful, with new and enhanced attractions available and most of the hotels now open.

"One year into the rebuilding of Grenada, all hands are on deck to 'Build Back Better' and recreate a destination that truly reflects the capacity of Grenada to deliver services that exceed visitor expectations," said Naline Joseph, Head of Marketing for the Grenada Board of Tourism.

Currently, as it relates to the accommodation sub-sector, 1,087 rooms are available for occupancy. This constitutes approximately 68% of the room stock on the island. By the end of 2005, 90% of the pre-Hurricane Ivan room stock will be functional. Among those that will commence operations are the newly upgraded 80-room Coyaba Beach Resort and the 64-room Spice Island Beach Resort. Recent months have also seen the reopening of the renovated Blue Horizons Garden Resort and the Grenadian by Rex Resorts. The brand new Ki Ki Apartments, offering 17 apartments, also debuted recently near True Blue Bay.

The tourism product mix has been further enhanced with the introduction of adventure river tubing as Grenada's newest attraction and new video and audio equipment for the whale-watching experience with First Impressions.

Tourism Services Limited, a company specialising in Grenada adventure jeep and mountain biking, is now offering adventure tubing tours at the Balthazar River. The 60-90 minute tour package is US$45 per person and includes equipment, safety briefing and refreshment.

Training for taxi drivers, water taxi operators, ground tour operators, tourist vendors, managers, workers, and owners of hotels, as well as construction workers, received major priority during the summer.

"This was structured to ensure that the beginning of the new tourist season will take place in an environment that is equipped with fully trained and highly motivated service providers and stakeholders," added Joseph.

The cruise aspect of the industry is being upgraded as the second phase of the new cruise ship port and terminal project nears completion. The inclusion of duty-free shopping facilities and other commercial retail outlets in this multi-million dollar project will enhance the experiences that arriving passengers will have in Grenada.

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.