Grenada’s 2022-2023 cruise season got under way on October 21 with the arrival of Celebrity Summit, part of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, carrying 1,500 passengers to the port at Melville Street, St George’s.
Two hundred and two cruise calls are scheduled this season, with an expected passenger count of 377,394 — an 11 per cent increase from the benchmark 2018 – 2019 season.
Cruise tourism has several benefits for host destinations such as boosting revenue, job creation, infrastructure development, professional development and cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens. The season signals a period of economic growth for many sectors and creates an immediate multiplier effect by boosting the revenues of many local businesses such as the taxi and transportation sector, tour operators, local spice and craft vendors, artisans and restaurants.
CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) Petra Roach said Grenada is ready for the season.
“In preparation, the GTA has facilitated training and workshop sessions focused on professional development, hospitality and cultural engagement sessions, aimed at enhancing service excellence. This is part of an overall strategy to ensure our tourism stakeholders such as taxi operators, artisans and vendors are prepared for the season and will provide high quality, culturally sound and professional services that enhance our destination marketing,” she said.
“Many cruise visitors are repeat visitors who choose to return to the destinations where they have had the best and most authentic experiences. Our overall growth in this sector speaks to strong consumer interest, our continued focus on expanding our product offering and our commitment to continuous product development and training for our stakeholders’ partners,” she added.
Randall Dolland, Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority spoke of the cruise sector’s importance to Grenada as it generates substantial economic activity.
“The GTA is committed to improving Grenada’s product offering and increasing the number of ships and calls to our ports. In addition, we want to ensure further employment opportunities for our people,” he said.
Speaking during the opening ceremony at the Melville street welcome centre, Minister of Tourism Lennox Andrews was optimistic about the growth in the cruise sector.
“Over the years, our team at the Grenada Tourism Authority has established an excellent network of industry partners as well as various public and private stakeholders and together they have all collaborated to take full advantage of the benefits of the cruise industry,” he said.
The tourism officials at GTA are excited about the possibilities that exist for growth and development in the cruise industry and fully expect this season to be another milestone year for Grenada.