Grenada is working hard on the development of a multi-destination concept, where travelers purchase one ticket for eight destinations. At the World Travel Market, Grenada Director of Tourism Simon Stiell speaks with Johnson Johnrose of the Caribbean Tourism Organization about this new tourism concept.
SIMON STIELL: It is still a concept. We’ve signed a letter of agreement with Curacao, Panama, Aruba, Colombia, and Venezuela is also in that grouping, Trinidad and Tobago, and, of course, Grenada. This is in part, in response, again, to one of the challenges we are facing with the cruise lines, of the tourists to other destinations. So we are looking at approximately to within the Southern Caribbean approximate to South America, partnering with some of those other destinations to come up with a very interesting itinerary. The itinerary goes beyond cruise; it also includes air lift and cruise-airlift between our destination cities, so it is still in the concept stage. We have until this time next year to go from concept to actual implementation. We have a lot of work to do, but the idea of being able to combine – Colombia is very different to Venezuela, is very different to Aruba, is very different to Grenada, to Tobago, etcetera.
JOHNSON JOHNROSE: A sort of multi-destination holiday.
STIELL: It is. But the idea is you have one ticket, and then you can cruise, you can visit, you can tour…
JOHNROSE: This will have visa implications, won’t it?
STIELL: There are a number; there are visa implications, there are regulatory implications; there are financial and commercial implications. So there is a lot to do, but what I find most encouraging about this is it’s 8 destinations with 7 nations who have a single goal in mind and that is to make this thing happen. So maybe some of what some of those integration challenges we have with the rest of the Caribbean, maybe if we are focused enough and we want this thing to happen, we’ll find solutions for some of those challenges we haven’t been able to solve at a wider Caribbean level.
JOHNROSE: You are moving away from the Caribbean in that context to certain degree. When I say Caribbean, the traditional Caribbean and the CTO that we know; you are going to Colombia, for example, as part of that.
STIELL: It’s just using geography to our advantage, that’s simply it. So when we are told that we are too far south from the itineraries, the cruise itineraries that are coming out of what is Miami or Puerto Rico, then it’s simply looking at our geography – where we are based – and it’s to try and turn what was a negative into a positive. So it’s not pulling away from anywhere, it’s not, nothing to do with that at all. It’s just using our proximity, you know, where we sit, to our advantage.