More than 500,000 visitors arrived in Grenada last year, a historic number that proves the three-island destination’s tourism industry is one to watch, according to Pure Grenada, the destination’s tourism board. New tours and experiences are taking visitors to lesser known parts of the destination.

Grenada saw an increase in visitor arrivals across the board with total visitor arrivals growing by 12.9 percent year-on-year to 528,077. The stayover arrivals grew by 9.97 percent to 160,970 with the largest growth year-on-year from Canada 19 percent to 17,364. The United States saw a 12 percent growth to 75,577 and the Caribbean a 7 percent growth to 28,990. The cruising sector saw arrivals grow by 14.49 percent to 342,826 and the yachting sector grew by 10.82 percent to 24,281.

In other Grenada news, American Airlines will have new non-stop service from Charlotte Douglas International Airport beginning Dec. 21, operating on Saturdays year-round. From Dec. 21 to March 28, Delta will operate weekly flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. From October 26 to December 17, Air Canada will operate two weekly flights Toronto Pearson International Airport on Saturdays and Tuesdays. From December 19 to April 14, three weekly flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

In hotel news, Calabash Luxury Boutique Resort has renovated its Beach Club restaurant to expose interiors to panoramic views of the beach and bay. Green Roof Inn, located in Carriacou, has a new sea-front yoga pavilion as well as a newly constructed dinghy dock that allows guests to take water taxis to Sandy Island or Tobago Cays.

Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort on Grand Anse Beach will open in two phases with plans for 92 rooms and suites as well as all amenities and services to be open in 2020 and an additional 120 to open by 2021.

Mount Hartman Bay Estate opened this year as a 16-bedroom private resort with three swimming pools, a 185-foot private dock, a large hot tub, and a pool.

Royalton Grenada is set to open in March 2020 with 261 luxury suites, four restaurants featuring Italian, Indian, French and International cuisine, a spa, kid’s club and a health and wellness program. Formerly The Grenadian by Rex Resorts, Royalton Grenada will renovate the entire property and will also include the option for guests to upgrade to butler service.

Secret Harbour Boutique Hotel, Restaurant & Marina has renovated its 20 cottages focusing on a more chic and modern design. The on-site restaurant also underwent an upgrade with new furniture and décor, and is now named Sel et Poivre, with a newly appointed chef, Chef Bruno Deligne from France. The restaurant serves French cuisine with local products and an ever-changing menu depending on fresh catches and seasonal offerings.

Silversands Grenada opened its doors in December. Its 43 suites and nine residential villas are situated on Grand Anse Beach. Two dining venues, The Grenadian Grill and Asiatique, source local ingredients and spices as well as fresh catches. Guests can enjoy cooking classes at Asiatique to learn about Grenada’s local ingredients. A cigar and rum bar, Puro, overlooks the resort’s pool and entices guests to lounge while enjoying a rare rum and Cuban cigar.

True Blue Bay Boutique Resort opened Grenada’s first environmentally friendly hotel rooms in February, which consist of 22 self-sustainable rooms with solar-heated water and ethically sourced wood for furniture wherever possible.

New tours include Hidden Treasures, a niche hiking tour company, that has added new tours to its offerings that range from low to high intensity hiking. A completely customizable experience, the tours take hikers through beaches, waterfalls, farms, remote villages and rum distilleries while adhering to sustainable practices. The company is owned and operated by Simon Green, who is a hiking enthusiast and guide with more than 30 years of experience.

A new hiking tour company, Wondering Soles,  aims to take visitors off the beaten path and away from the more well-known attractions to provide an immersive experience within Grenada’s natural environment.

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