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CHTA Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma (third from right) with Grenadian hoteliers (l-r) Leo Garbutt, Owner of Calabash Grenada; Nerissa Hopkin, Director, Spice Island Beach Resort; GHTA President Kendra Hopkin Stewart; GHTA CEO Arlene Friday; and Arnold Hopkin, Founder of Blue Horizons Garden Resort

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) praised tourism stakeholders in Grenada for their dedication to fostering collaboration between the public and private sectors, a partnership that has resulted in sustainable growth within the destination's tourism industry.

During her inaugural visit to The Spice Island last month, Vanessa Ledesma, Acting CEO of CHTA, spoke at a Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) Members Meeting. The event was attended by government officials and members of the business community, highlighting the strong collaborative efforts that have been instrumental in driving the sector's progress.

"Grenada is an outstanding Caribbean tourism destination, and I am inspired by the passion and dedication of its hospitality industry stakeholders. Through collaboration and a strong public-private partnership, I am confident that the GHTA and its members will continue to thrive," said Ledesma. 

Sharing insights from CHTA's data partner ForwardKeys, Ledesma provided valuable information on Grenada's tourism outlook. She highlighted first-quarter arrivals that are on track to surpass 2023's figures, positioning Grenada as a leader in regional tourism growth. 

In 2023, Grenada achieved a milestone by welcoming 178,020 stayover visitors, marking a 33.7% increase from 2022. This impressive growth placed Grenada among a select group of regional destinations that surpassed their 2019 arrival figures, delivering an increase of close to 10 percent.

Data from STR and CoStar highlighted a positive trend in the hospitality sector, with hotel occupancy climbing from 61% to 65.6% year-over-year. Additionally, there was an increase in both Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR).

Ledesma also pointed to the Caribbean's strong performance in the global travel recovery of 2023, noting a three percent increase in international arrivals compared to 2019. This contrasted with a 25% decline in total international inbound travel elsewhere in the world. "The Caribbean has truly set a benchmark in the global tourism landscape, underscoring its significant outperformance in attracting visitors last year," Ledesma remarked, emphasizing the region's successful rebound and resilience in the face of global challenges.

The association executive highlighted the comprehensive benefits of CHTA membership, including the critical advocacy work on travel and tourism issues to ensure that members' voices are heard in policy-making circles. She also underscored the importance of marketing opportunities provided through access to Caribbean Travel Marketplace, the premier annual buyer-supplier event in the region, to be held in Jamaica in May.

CHTA Acting CEO and Director General Vanessa Ledesma in Grenada last month

Ledesma spoke about the value of market intelligence through access to regional performance data and resources in the CHTA Data Center, educational webinars and masterclasses; opportunities for leadership and engagement in CHTA councils and committees; sharing of best practices in various aspects of business beyond the borders of individual destinations; and the availability of timely, curated news and information.

As part of her visit, Ledesma engaged in site visits to member hotels, learning about the hospitality sector's needs and offering practical solutions to address them. She also explored Grenada's scenic beauty and charm to deepen her understanding of the destination.

Warm Grenadian hospitality was extended to Ledesma through a reception held in her honor at Calabash Grenada, providing an intimate setting for networking and dialogue among guests, including Senator Adrian Thomas, Minister of Tourism; Senator Salim Rahaman; Nikoyan Roberts, Head of Sales and Marketing at the Grenada Tourism Authority; and other government officials and tourism leaders.

"Vanessa's visit symbolizes a significant step forward in strengthening the relationship and fostering growth of the Grenadian hospitality sector. The GHTA looks forward to leveraging her expertise and insights to further elevate our industry," remarked Arlene Friday, CEO of GHTA.

About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean's leading association representing the interests of national hotel and tourism associations. For more than 60 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied members, and 32 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean's future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether helping to navigate critical issues in sales and marketing, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or, looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues which matter most.

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