Preliminary figures for the first half of this year released by Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) show that UK tourist visits to the Caribbean island have increased by 16%, year on year.

Overall, Grenada recorded a 14% increase in visitors from January to July 2014 compared to the same period last year with arrivals totalling 214,403.

Cruise visitors, who remain on Grenada for one day, grew by 12% to 149,073.

The island welcomed 12,477 UK visitors between January and June 2014, up from 10,758 for the same period in 2013. The UK, which accounts for 23% of all Grenada tourism arrivals, benefits from four flights each week from Gatwick - two with British Airways, two with Virgin Atlantic - with most travellers originating from the Greater London area.

Sharon Bernstein, Grenada Tourism Authority general manager UK & Ireland, said: “These figures are very encouraging and come within months of the launch of our new brand, Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean. The UK has always been one of the most important overseas markets for Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, and we’re confident that, with our new, more targeted approach to promoting the island with Pure Romance, Pure Diving and Pure Adventure, in addition to new accommodation and new attractions in the pipeline, we’ll continue to secure tourism growth.”

Bernstein added: “Sandals LaSource Grenada has provided a boost to tourism and, along with investment by Spice Island Beach Resort and the renovation of Calabash Hotel this summer, bodes well for the future. The Tourism Authority continues to promote initiatives including regattas and cultural festivals with international appeal, and this December will see the first ever transatlantic yacht race to end in Grenada, positioning the island as a truly world-class yachting destination.”

Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean - launched by Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Alexandra Otway-Noel, on February 14 this year - promotes the authentic experience visitors enjoy in Grenada with a basis in sustainability and geo-tourism.

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