Grenada: Accelerating to Full Recovery

. October 14, 2008

GRENADA, October 12, 2005. Grenada was wrecked by the might of Hurricane Ivan over a year ago. Losing some 90 per cent of her homes Grenada is now accelerating to a full recovery. The Grenada Board of Tourism reports that efforts to rebuild and enhance the tourism industry are successful, with new and enhanced attractions available and most of the hotels now open.

"One year into the rebuilding of Grenada, all hands are on deck to 'Build Back Better' and recreate a destination that truly reflects the capacity of Grenada to deliver services that exceed visitor expectations," said Naline Joseph, Head of Marketing for the Grenada Board of Tourism.

Currently, as it relates to the accommodation sub-sector, 1,087 rooms are available for occupancy. This constitutes approximately 68% of the room stock on the island. By the end of 2005, 90% of the pre-Hurricane Ivan room stock will be functional. Among those that will commence operations are the newly upgraded 80-room Coyaba Beach Resort and the 64-room Spice Island Beach Resort. Recent months have also seen the reopening of the renovated Blue Horizons Garden Resort and the Grenadian by Rex Resorts. The brand new Ki Ki Apartments, offering 17 apartments, also debuted recently near True Blue Bay.

The tourism product mix has been further enhanced with the introduction of adventure river tubing as Grenada's newest attraction and new video and audio equipment for the whale-watching experience with First Impressions.

Tourism Services Limited, a company specialising in Grenada adventure jeep and mountain biking, is now offering adventure tubing tours at the Balthazar River. The 60-90 minute tour package is US$45 per person and includes equipment, safety briefing and refreshment.

Training for taxi drivers, water taxi operators, ground tour operators, tourist vendors, managers, workers, and owners of hotels, as well as construction workers, received major priority during the summer.

"This was structured to ensure that the beginning of the new tourist season will take place in an environment that is equipped with fully trained and highly motivated service providers and stakeholders," added Joseph.

The cruise aspect of the industry is being upgraded as the second phase of the new cruise ship port and terminal project nears completion. The inclusion of duty-free shopping facilities and other commercial retail outlets in this multi-million dollar project will enhance the experiences that arriving passengers will have in Grenada.

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Hotel Design: Home Away From Home

With the rise of the sharing economy and the peer-to-peer marketplace for lodging options, hoteliers are re-thinking the look, feel and appeal of their locations. There is an emphasis on re-creating a feeling of homeyness - a comfortable, cozy and inviting space that feels like home. 'This is accomplished through the careful selection of furniture design, paint colors, lighting design, artwork, bathroom fixtures and textile accessories. In addition, some hotels are providing their guests with upscale amenities, such as a book and movie library, home-style kitchenettes, a coffee machine with locally-sourced beans and tea, or even a batch of fresh-baked cookies. Similarly, there is a growing design trend based on the concept of place-making. Travelers are searching for experiences that are unique and authentic to the locale in which they find themselves, and so hotel designers are integrating a sense of place into their work. This is partially achieved by incorporating traditional artisanal crafts and other local artwork into hotel rooms and communal spaces. Another design trend includes the creation of full-service, co-working environments within the hotel. Guests don't like to stay alone in their room when they need to work, so now they can go downstairs to the lobby-or up to the roof-to work among others. These areas encourage guests - and non-guests alike - to stay as long as they like and to partake of hotel amenities. Finally, recognizing the importance of the Wellness Movement, some designers are exploring how room design can increase the likelihood of deep and restorative sleep. Creating dark and quiet spaces, blocking excessive light, providing guests with a selection of different kinds of pillows, and the ability to control room temperature, are a few of the best practices in this area. These are some of the architecture and design topics that will be covered in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.