Congratulations are due to Russ Jarman Price, Minister Otway-Noel and Sheldon Keens-Douglas. On Friday, March 28, an insight was given to not only the future for Grenada as a tourist destination but a path to a future defined by a goal of particular merit.
Russ, the chairman of Iglefield Ogilvy and Mather, the Caribbean arm of Ogilvy Worldwide, described the process whereby stakeholders in the tourism industry in Grenada grappled with the way forward to develop a brand for Grenada. They met, discussed Grenada's advantages they saw as a tourist destination and before the next workshop one of the participants asked boys at Father Mullagin's Home in Victoria to distil their idea of Grenada down to a single word... and she timidly asked, part way through that meeting, what they would think of the word Pure -- and bingo, a revolution occurred -- there was agreement where agreement was elusive before...
Why are people somewhat stunned with the new brand? This, like my home country, New Zealand, has 50% of the population feeling they are the prime minister! (They all know what is wrong here...) The brand implies a lot of good things for tourists and a lot changes to make what it implies ring true.
Anyone that feels uncomfortable about it needs to know that with Russ, Grenada is in good hands. He related how a bank in the UK was transformed by having one of the worst customer service reputations changed to the best in a short time. How, you may wonder -- by its directors being persuaded to let it be branded "The Listening Bank". Joke thought the customers -- and they gave the personnel a hard time... but the culture changed... and changed... This is the power of the written word at work.
Already a major tourism conference has chosen Pure Grenada for its next meeting, as a direct consequence of the new brand.
Minister Otway-Noel knows that her political future depends on results and she has them rolling in -- a much better Carnival in 2013 and now Pure Grenada reaping rewards already.
This is only a beginning, not an end-point but a beacon shining a spotlight into the future for Grenada -- it will give direction where there has not been direction. The latest buzzword in the tourism world is geo-tourism and encompasses eco tourism, agriculture tourism, adventure travel, you name it -- it's included -- and now it's headed Grenada's way.
Sustainability is very important -- travellers and tourists need, want, desire... activities and attractions to make their time away from work and normal life exciting, interesting and adventurous. Activities and attractions need patronage all year round to make them viable. A business operator cannot successfully operate for two months of the year and have no customers most of the time. Local vacations by Grenadians in Grenada can become a significant backbone for viable tourist activities and attractions.
Young tourists have been identified as the best spending group in very successful tourism oriented countries -- Grenada can learn from the successful Commonwealth countries with highly rated tourism activities and attractions -- try a search for "the Adventure Capital of the World" to discover what I am talking about. What can you learn from "Walking the Abel Tasman Track”? You can pick up some ideas there that are able to be developed in Grenada.
The best spenders may not be the richest travellers -- they are what is needed and the future needs to be developed with them in mind -- and they need to come in good numbers to ensure the viability of the activities and attractions which need to be developed.
Anyone know what a sound and light show is? Son et Lumiere? These are generally night-time events, frequently focusing on significant epochs of history. Try a search on "Son et Lumiere Luxor". Has Grenada some colourful history for successful Son et Lumiere? We might induce cruise ships to stay until 11 pm.
What did the mayor of ?? do to attract more investment? Offer incentives? Nope. Wine and dine high flying business executives? Nope. He built cultural centres and parks and suddenly people wanted to live in his city -- and industry came. Want to check it out? Search and see if you can find where it happened!
Want to avoid the ecological problems of sand-mining - penalise, forbid? Nope. Grow a timber industry and copy North America and Europe by constructing timber framed houses using the modern methods they use to withstand quakes and high speed winds... In other words, a better answer is to take an alternative carbon sequestering, lower energy processing approach to obtain a better overall result.
Where is Pure Grenada focusing your thoughts? Once it is the will of the people, the politicians will follow along en masse. In the end, it is the private sector which is the engine that drives production in any economy. Leadership is essential -- leadership in the private sector, leadership at government level. And, frequently the type of leadership that is needed is the leadership of ideas, good ideas, implicit approval and those needing to will follow.
Pure Grenada is a breakthrough for Grenada. Let's all make a success of it.
David L Evans PhD