Page 1 of 1

Prime Minister seeking to get to bottom of episode

Posted: Fri Dec 04, 2009
by bimjim

GRENADA: Prime Minister seeking to get to bottom of embarrassing episode
Posted by admin on 12/04/09 • Categorized as Grenada, Tourism

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, CMC – Prime Minister Tillman Thomas says his government is seeking to get to the bottom of an incident deemed as embarrassing for Grenada and one that has also sparked calls for the sacking of country’s Tourism Director William Joseph.

Last Tuesday, the Canadian airline Sunwing launched weekly scheduled services to the island but no official welcoming mat was rolled out for its officials on arrival at the Maurice Bishop International Airport.

In response to mounting criticism being leveled at the Grenada Board of Tourism (GBT) following the incident, Thomas revealed on Thursday that an investigation had started into why no ceremony was held to herald the inaugural flight with 90 passengers, including Grenada’s Consul General to Canada, Jenny Gumbs and top officials of the Canadian airline.

“The Board of Tourism is now in the process of carrying out an investigation and then they will present a report to us,” Thomas told reporters in St. George’s.

“When we receive the report, we will look at it and deal with it accordingly. We have not received the report as yet.”

Board Director Richard Strachan has confirmed the investigation and says it could finish before the end of the week.

“Let me hasten to say that the recent happening surrounding Sunwing sunrise’s first flight into Grenada is an unfortunate source of disappointment and slippage and concerns me greatly,” he said during a tourism marketing conference in St. George’s this week.

“There have been calls for some reaction from some quarters and while the board of directors does not wish to rush to unfair judgment we have requested a full report so that a decision can be made by the end of this week.”

A statement from the GBT has blamed the airport ground handling company and the early morning arrival of Sunwing for the lack of a welcome ceremony.

However, the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) has dismissed the reasons provided as “lame”.

Sunwing has plans to increase its services to twice weekly during the peak Christmas, Easter and Carnival seasons.