Grenada focuses on dives, weddings

Recently appointed head of Marketing at the Grenada Board of Tourism, Raelene Lazarus, says that the wedding/honeymoon and dive niche will be given priority as Grenada put structures in place to lure visitors to the island in this recession times.
“Despite of what is going on in this recession, people are still getting married and according to our research and statistics these two areas have stand out, so we positioning Grenada to become that destination where couple will want to get marry,” Lazarus said.
Admitting that the other niches areas of heritage, cuisine, culture, sport, entertainment and recreation will continue to be part of the general mix of the island attraction, she said that specific focus will be given to these areas because of the research conducted internally and by the Grenada overseas’ marketing partners.
To gain clearer understanding of how the recession has impacted discretionary spending, in May 2009 Fitzgerald and Company conducted a spending habits survey with more than 1,000 US consumers. When it came to vacation spending, the “Recessionary Travel” survey revealed that year-over-year recreation spending decreased in 2008 for the first time since 1957 and is expected to see an even greater decrease in 2009.
Other findings reveal that that US travelers are “cautiously optimistic” about the economy’s recovery and expect to see a rebound in 2011, but aren’t yet spending as if things are improving; Consumers expect to spend more on vacations once the economy rebounds, but they’ll be spending differently. The report revealed that a focus on family-friendly, experience vacations versus leisure, luxury vacations will be the norm.”
While the popularity of US value destinations is expected to drive domestic destinations’ market share up by 8 points, post-recession numbers are predicted to be less positive, the survey said that the US might see its share of the travel market drop by as much -18 points as travelers move onto overseas and Caribbean travel.
Vacation marketers should respond by promoting family-friendly, value packages now. Value does not equal cheap, however, consumers want to feel as if they are getting something worthy for their money. As result, destinations known for all-inclusive deals will be popular.
“Our ‘Recessionary Travel’ survey made it clear that there are two approaches that can be taken when it comes to vacation spending,” said the company’s in-house travel expert, Paul Gilberto. “Marketers can either passively wait for the recession to end and hope to resume business as usual or be proactive and adapt to the new way of consumer thinking.”
Armed with that knowledge, Lazarus said that the Board of Tourism, which is the body responsible for marketing the island’s tourism product, will be ensuring that results are achieved from the new strategy that will put into effect.
“As head of marketing one of the new initiatives will be the monitoring and evaluation of marketing strategies to know what is working and what is not providing effective results, or results as expected,” she explained.