Thursday, 27 April 2017

GRENADA: Spice Of The Caribbean

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is free to wonder; a fitting catchphrase for the Grenada Tourism Authority’s exciting new lifestyle campaign launched under the umbrella of the Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean brand.

The ‘Free To Wonder’ lifestyle campaign digital launch took place at the GTA headquarters on Tuesday 25th April. The campaign which complements the mainstay Pure Grenada brand combines Grenada’s gorgeous backdrop scenery with focus on everyday people who are free to wonder at the many things they can see and do in the destination.

Chief Executive Officer of the GTA Patricia Maher introduced the campaign saying ‘Free To Wonder’ is an emotional connection to the tactical Pure Grenada brand.

She said quote, “It portrays people like you and me wondering at the beauty of this pure and unspoilt place; that is what we offer visitors and locals alike; and being a safe destination, you are free to wonder on our pristine beaches, free to wonder at our refreshing waterfalls, free to wonder at our treasures beneath the sea and free to wonder with our lovely people.”

Marketing Manager for the GTA Francine Stewart told the gathering of stakeholders and media that ‘Free To Wonder’ is a strategic move on the part of the GTA to enhance the Pure Grenada brand. She said, “ We are proud of this lifestyle campaign and it will be launched in our main markets by our Public Relations and sales partners.”

Stewart also thanked local companies Hexive Creative Agency and Grengraphics for creating the campaign and bringing it to fruition. She said, “ It is a pleasure to have worked along with Grenadians to develop this wonderful campaign.”

Immediately following the press launch, the ‘Free To Wonder’ lifestyle campaign was launched digitally via the GTA’s social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Followers on social media were encouraged to use the #FreeToWonder in addition to #PureGrenada on GTA’s social media handles @discovergrenada. GTA officials assured stakeholders that the ‘Free To Wonder’ campaign images will be shared with them to maximise their marketing of the destination and their services.

It was a great day in Pure Grenada as young Grenadians came together to ensure that one of our scenic spots remains litter free. 30 members of the Grenada Cadet Corp Zone B collected 27 jumbo size bags of litter along the seawall behind the Melville Street Cruise Terminal.

The initiative was led and supported by the Grenada Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Grenada Cadet Corp, the Royal Grenada Police Force and the Grenada Solid Waste Authority.

Adjutant of the Grenada Cadet Corp Captain Martha Budd says items collected included food boxes, plastic bags and bottles. Following the clean up she said, “We really need to keep this area clean. It is central and somewhere we can come to relax, but only if it is clean.”

Members of the Grenada Cadet Corp found the exercise rewarding and they shared some strong messages with the Grenadian public. St. Marks Secondary School’s Liston Noel said, “If there is no garbage bin available, dispose of your trash at home’ while Mia Debellotte (St. Marks Secondary) said, “I enjoyed the experience and I would like to see a ‘No Dumping’ sign erected as a reminder to the public.”

The Grenada Tourism Authority has plans to install garbage bins in an effort to keep the area clean. The exercise will continue with the Cadet Corp moving to clean up the Grand Etang shoreline trail on Tuesday (11th April).

Everyone’s buzzing about Grenada. That’s the feedback the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has been receiving from our international partners following the hosting of the historic inaugural Grenada Invitational. The live broadcast of the Invitational was estimated to reach 90 million homes worldwide via ESPN2.

During that time, viewers were treated to gorgeous visual presentations of Pure Grenada’s stunning scenery, friendly people and abundant activities for visitors through adverts and promotional videos provided by the GTA.

According to CEO of the Grenada Tourism Authority Patricia Maher, “The GTA on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism was delighted to support the hosting of the first Grenada Invitational as we valued the opportunity to showcase Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean to the world.” She further stated.

Our Marketing Manager Francine Stewart dedicated her time and resource to the Local Organizing Committee over an intensive six-month period and the GTA together with our PR Agency CAMC organised our first international press trip group for the year around the event.

By all accounts, Grenada got the global brand visibility we were looking for with worldwide coverage of over 90 million viewers of the event on ESPN. The marketing exposure we received for our tourism destination was priceless”.

The 2017 Grenada Invitational was the first event of the track and field season and it attracted some of the top athletes in the world including Grenada’s Kirani James, Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell Brown and Justin Gatlin.

It was a historic moment for Grenada as the achievements of the country’s first Olympic medalist were immortalized with the Athletics Stadium being renamed the Kirani James Athletics Stadium. This moment was crowned by James winning the 400m race to the jubilation of the crowd.

Some of the other athletes either posted personal best times or broke national records. Apart from competing, they took time to enjoy Grenada’s natural beauty and they are sharing with the world via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

As for the five members of the GTA organised press trip from Canada, the USA and the Caribbean, they thoroughly enjoyed their experience and are excited to write about destination Pure Grenada.

Their social media accounts are buzzing with every moment of their trip including getting the chance to meet Grenadian Olympian Kirani James.

The group includes: US travel writer Sarah Greaves Gabbadon (JetSetSarah), Travel Pulses Brian Major, US Journalist Robert Curley, Canadian Travel Press Ann Christine Ruppenstein and Kimberley Honey who writes for the Toronto Star.

According to Grenada Invitational officials, the event will be rebroadcast on Tuesday 11th April, 2017 from 8 to 11pm Eastern time on ESPN Caribbean Network. As part of the arrangement, the 2017 Grenada Invitational will be shown on various ESPN Digital Platforms within a three-month window from the date of the event.

Overall, the Grenada Tourism Authority believes that the hosting of the Grenada Invitational and coverage via ESPN will boost arrivals in Grenada in the coming months from all source markets. The GTA would also like to add its special thanks to the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association for its support during the hosting of the event.

Pure Grenada welcomed its 5th inaugural cruise call on Tuesday 6th April 2017; an indication of continued interest in the destination. The luxurious Serenity of Crystal Cruises docked in the beautiful St. George’s Harbour on Tuesday bringing just over one thousand passengers and 655 crew members.

Crystal Cruises is the world’s most awarded luxury cruise line with its fleet covering the globe. Awards include Travel Weekly’s Best Luxury Cruise Line 2016 and Travel + Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Cruise Line 2015.

A delegation including Tourism Minister Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste Curwen, GTA Nautical Development Manager Nikoyan Roberts, Ground Tour Operators George F Huggins, the Grenada Ports Authority and other public sector representatives attended a short ceremony to mark the occasion aboard the vessel.

The Minister handed over a commemorative plaque to ship captain Egil Giske thanking Crystal Cruises for its partnership with Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean.

Captain Giske is enthusiastic about Grenada as a tourist destination since he has visited the island before. Speaking of his experience he said, “I love the beaches, warm Grenadian people, delicious food & spices.” Pure Grenada has much to offer the passengers of Crystal Cruises with unique tropical beauty, spice gardens, cultural attractions, delicious cuisine, a relaxed vibe and many activities.

On April 1st, 2017 the number 30 held much significance in Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean. British Airways (BA) and Grenada celebrated 30 years of partnership and for three (3) hotels their 30 year commitment to service excellence was also celebrated.

A short commemoration ceremony was held at the Maurice Bishop International Airport along with a special treat for visitors arriving on British Airways; sweet steel pan music and refreshing local beverages.

In 1987, then Minister of Tourism Hon. Ben Jones and a crowd of well wishers welcomed the first British Airways flight to Grenada commanded by Captain Doug Hudgell. The flight took 11 hours and 56 minutes landing at the then Point Salines International Airport.

Thirty years later, current Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen said she was happy to commemorate the significant anniversary. While there have been some changes over the years the Minister noted, “What has not changed is British Airways commitment to Pure Grenada and our warm and friendly welcome.”

In recognition of the anniversary the Minister presented the flight captain with a token of appreciation on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada.

Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority Mr. Rodney George thanked British Airways for their partnership and congratulated the Airline for its customer service excellence. He noted, “British Airways has opened up Grenada to the UK and Europe accounting for 30% of visitors from our second largest source market.”

Manager of the Grenada Airports Authority Mrs. Wendy Williams took a step back into history looking at a centre page feature written in British Airways News in 1987. An excerpt read, “It’s not just saffron and nutmeg that make Grenada the isle of spice. The rich blend of its warm-hearted people and tempestuous past make it an intriguing island to visit.”

BA District Manager for the Central Caribbean Mr. Nigel Blackett said his organization values it partnership with Grenada. As part of the celebrations, he noted that British Airways was providing specials on airfare to and from Grenada during the month of April. He also presented a token of appreciation to Tourism Minister Modeste Curwen to mark the special occasion.

BA Commercial Manager for the Caribbean Diane Corrie recognized three hotels that are British Airways Holidays partners and also celebrating 30 years of operation and commitment to service excellence. She handed over tokens of appreciation to Chairman of the Spice Island Beach Resort, Sir Royston Hopkin, KCMG, Managing Director of the Coyaba Beach Resort Mr. Andre Cherman and Owner of the Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa, Mr. Leo Garbutt. Tourism Minister Modeste Curwen also congratulated the hoteliers on their contributions to the industry. British Airways now operates a twice-weekly service to Grenada.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) has thrown its support behind artists representing Pure Grenada at the prestigious 57th Biennale de Venezia in Venice from 13th May to 20th November. A brief ceremony was held recently at the Art and Soul Gallery in which the GTA and local organizers signed a sponsorship agreement to support the Grenada Pavilion titled ‘The Bridge’. Commissioner for the Grenada Pavilion Dr. Susan Mains thanked the Grenada Tourism Authority for its contribution saying, “Grenada’s first participation as an official national pavilion in 2015 at the 56th Biennale de Venezia was historic, putting the country on the international contemporary art map. Many linkages were formed, giving Grenada even more exposure in the ensuing period.”

Signing on behalf of the GTA was Product Development Manager Kirl Hoschtialek. She had the opportunity to view first hand the work of Asher Mains, one of the artists to be presented at the Biennale. The artistic work of the Pure Grenada representatives is based on promoting awareness of environmental issues. Hoschtialek said, “The work is inspirational and shows the linkages between Pure Grenada and the sustainability of the destination.”

The headliner artist for the Biennale is Jason deCaires Taylor, globally known for his underwater sculpture parks; his first being in Grenada. He will debut new sculptures as well as display photos of his work in Grenada.

Asher Mains will exhibit ‘ Sea Lungs’ which portrays the life and death of the reef, and the human relationship with the sea. Speaking of his work, which was previewed at the Art and Soul Gallery on April 12th, he said, “The installation is about the reef responding to itself in decline and the faces put a human touch to this environmental concern.”

The third artist joining the Grenada Pavilion is Milton Williams. His technique centres around the act of collecting. His work requires extensive travel, during which he collects objects of everyday life from the countries he visits. The work being shown in the Grenada pavilion will be an installation of some of these objects.

This is the second time Grenada will participate in the Biennale de Venezia and the second time the GTA is supporting the venture. It is a great opportunity to promote Pure Grenada the Spice of the Caribbean in continental Europe for a prolonged period. Dr. Mains is urging other organizations to support Grenada’s participation.