Wednesday, 5 March 2014

GTA seeking to recapture German tourism market

Head of Marketing at the Grenada Tourism
Authority (GTA), Sheldon Keens Douglas.

By Linda Straker

Structures are being put in place to recapture the German and other European tourism markets and the first major undertaking by the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) to that market is participating in ITB Berlin, which is being held from March 5 to 9.

Described as the world’s largest tourism convention, ITB Berlin provides unique opportunities to benefit from the leading think tank of the global tourism industry. Head of Marketing at the GTA, Sheldon Keens Douglas, said that the potential for Grenada in the European market is great.

“It’s one of the markets that we believe has great potential for Grenada and our aim is to recapture that market which brought a significant number of visitors years ago, especially when we had the direct flight out of Germany,” said Keens Douglas, who explained that the German market was once Grenada’s fifth largest market.

The delegation to ITB is being led by Tourism Minister, Alexandra Noel-Otway, and while there, she and other members of the delegation will have more than 30 meetings with tour and travel operators and tourism partners, which can assist in pushing the message that Grenada is the place to visit year-round and not just for a winter break.

The four-day convention will see the first two days dedicated to traders in the tourism field and the last two days will be the exhibition, where more than 170 000 visitors are expected to browse through the booths.

Keens Douglas said: “Grenada is returning to the German market by stamping its presence in ITB, which displays all the tourism industry offers as we display our new brand of Pure Grenada.”

With less than 2 000 rooms, Grenada’s plan is to attract the more affluent visitors instead of the mass visitors. “We are not looking nor are we pushing for mass tourism as there are other islands where our entire room stock is one property. Our strategy is to attract the more affluent,” he said.

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