Caribbean news. ST.GEORGE’S,GRENADA, June 04, 2014 –GIS:  In a series of meetings held at Unite Caribbean with some of the UK’s

Alexandra Otway-Noel

Tourism Minister Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel. Photo courtesy

leading tour operators to the Caribbean and to Grenada, the operators provided positive news about the performance of Grenada as a tourism destination and praise for the new Pure Grenada branding.  Bookings to the island are up between 30 – 80% for 2014 compared with 2013.

UK tour operators including Best at Travel said that Grenada’s increase outstripped the rest of the Caribbean region in 2014.  Caribtours, a leading Caribbean specialist operator, reported that it is very pleased with results for 2014; bookings have already surpassed 2013 levels.  Hayes and Jarvis, part of the Tui group of companies, said that Grenada was a ‘bright light on the Caribbean horizon’ as the island is doing better in percentage terms than any other.

The opening of Sandals LaSource Grenada in December 2013 has provided a boost to the island’s UK visitor figures for 2014.  Many of the UK’s leading tour operators confirmed that hotels including Spice Island Beach Resort, Grenadian by Rex and Kalinago Beach Resort are also showing good growth.

Minister for Tourism & Civil Aviation, Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel, said: “Our close working relationship with Virgin Holidays is seeing increased passenger numbers in 2014 and the UK Government placing the Caribbean on an equal footing with the US forAirline Passenger Duty (APD) will help our diaspora return home and strengthen family ties in 2015, as well as encouraging holiday makers with more competitive pricing.”

British Airways also advised that their low season lead-in fare to Grenada for 2015 will be £569 (taxes and surcharges included), against a current 2014 lead in of £603; the airline has also passed on the full APD saving of £14 to passengers which will apply from 1 April 2015 after a sustained campaign to check UK taxation legislation that was widely regarded as unfair to the Caribbean region.

Minister Otway-Noel added: “These lower 2015 fares will continue to encourage the Grenadian diaspora to ‘come home’ and help the island’s economy get a kick-start in 2015, as well as entice even more discerning visitors to discover Pure Grenada.”

Pure tourist arrival statistics show the UK had  1.82 % growth in the first quarter of this year and there is further good news from Europe with Germany, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland all showing growth in the first quarter, figures that should be boosted further with the announcement that Condor will fly to the island from Frankfurt, weekly from November.