By the Caribbean Journal staff
One of the Caribbean’s most popular summer festivals has gotten even hotter — and solidified its positions as one of the top Caribbean carnivals to visit.
Grenada’s Spicemas, the Spice Isle’s signature carnival event, saw a 7.7 percent increase in visitor arrivals this year, according to new data from the Grenada Tourism Authority.
Grenada reported a total of 13,327 arrivals during the festival period, compared to 12,379 in 2018.
Part of the growth, tourism officials said, was due to extra intra-regional flights from LIAT and “global recognition of Grenada’s artistes, culture and music,” official said.
“Grenada’s soca, groovy and calypso music coupled with its authentic and distinctly unique offerings of Jab Jab and Monday Night Mas, served to wow visitors and highlight what sets Spicemas apart from other Carnivals,” the Grenada Tourism Authority said in a statement. “2019 also saw a marked increase in participation with 12 bands parading for the Monday Night Mas street party. The masqueraders reveled to the rhythms of carnival and lit up the night sky with a plethora of colorfully branded t-shirts, lighted hats and wands. Fancy Mas on Carnival Monday and Tuesday also saw increased participation from bands (of which there were 11) and masqueraders with bejeweled costumes, pageantry and storytelling.”
The numbers included a strong contingent from the United States, with 6,816 visitors, which represented a 21 percent jump from that market.
The nearby Trinidad and Tobago market saw 7 percent growth, with a total of 1,973 visitors.
“The numbers speak to the growing interest in Spicemas as one of the best Carnivals to visit in the Caribbean. Our people make the experience memorable and enjoyable with their warm hospitality and visible pride in their music and culture,” said Grenada Tourism Minister Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen. “Grenada for Spicemas 2020 promises to be a spectacular event.”