by Linda Straker
- Both properties shut doors after borders closed in late March 2020
- Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) delighted with reopening
- Both properties operating as fully vaccinated facilities
Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste has described the reopening of two all-inclusive hotel properties on 1 October 2021 as evidence that the management of these facilities are confident that the sector will rebound.
“These two remarkable resorts will no doubt add immensely to the variety of options in the accommodation sector. This reopening is indeed testimony to the confidence in the resilience of the industry,” Modeste said, on the impact they are expected to have on the economy and by extension the tourism and travel sector.
Both properties shut their doors after the country closed its borders in late March 2020 as part of measures to contain and control the spread of Covid-19, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a pandemic. The first case was medically confirmed on 22 March 2020.
Barry Collymore, Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), said that the reopening will have a tremendous impact on the economy. He believes that the Spice Island Beach Resort will drive a lot of repeat business, while Royalton will open new business for Grenada. “They all, in the end, will be good for tourism, jobs and all of that, but they are going in the right direction.”
Brian Hardy, General Manager of the Spice Island Beach Resort, said that the 64-room property on Grand Anse beach which opened with over 50% staff, is declared a quarantine site for visitors. “We are a fully vaccinated operation. All visitors and guests, our staff and management, entertainers, everyone who will be on the compound of the property, must be fully vaccinated.”
Marlon Walker who is the Online Communications Manager for Royalton Grenada confirmed that the 267-room hotel also reopened its doors for guests on 1 October. The all-inclusive family resort will also be operating as a fully vaccinated facility.
Together, both hotels will now be making over 300 hotel rooms available. The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) expressed delight for the additional rooms. “Having both hotels operating is excellent news for the country, as there are many people now in employment and their guests will fill seats on aircraft,” said President Leo Garbutt. “Also, local suppliers, farmers, fishermen, and others will have orders to fulfill. These hotels operating will stimulate the economy, so it is a winning situation for all,” he added.
According to the 2021 mid-year review which was recently tabled in the Houses of Parliament, the tourism sector remains the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Data for the first half of 2021 shows that travel was depressed for the first quarter of 2021. However, the second-quarter data showed some improvement as several airlines added flights during that period.
From January to June 2021, the number of visitors to the country was 10,027 with 8,026 coming from the USA.