Grenada Holds Talks with Hoteliers

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - July 3, 2012

Above: Grenada (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Grenada Finance Minister Nazim Burke and Tourism Minister Senator George Vincent recently held talks with a representation of the country’s hotel sector in order to explore options on issues affecting the industry.

Burke, who said it was important for the sector to understand that these are not “ordinary times,” reportedly assured hoteliers that Grenada’s government will continue to “do all in its power” to assist the sector.

Grenadian hoteliers said there were several major challenges for the sector, including low occupancy levels, high financing costs and high energy costs.

That has led the sector to move to implement measures such as scaling down operations and staff rotation.

Following the talks, the two sides agreed on several initiatives: the first was the constitution of an Emergency Working Committee, which will be made up of the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Tourism and other senior government officials, along with private sector representatives.

Second, a smaller task force will convene to establish terms of reference for the committee.

Third, Grenada’s hoteliers will develop a written report of their current situation, which will be submitted to cabinet.

Finally, another meeting will be convened by the Ministry of Finance, putting together bankers, hoteliers and the government, to explore approaches that can be used to address financing challenges in the hotel industry.

Grenada’s government has for some time been pushing the possibility of bringing a major, brand-name resort to the island, but that has not yet yielded a concrete agreement.

Last year, the chairman of Grenada’s Airlift Committee made the call for a flagship hotel in the country.

“Boosting the tourism industry by adding a five-star hotel is a good idea,” he said at the time. “The government needs to play their part; be creative and create some form of investment for Grenadians to help lift the hotel sector.”

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