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Grenada wants diaspora’s support

Regional 22 Apr, 2022 Follow News

Grenadians are being enticed to return to the island

Grenada has introduced a program to entice its diaspora to visit more often.

Pre-pandemic, tourism made up close to 41 percent of Grenada’s gross domestic product and 42 percent of total employment, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council. Two years later, the work to recover all airlift and tourist arrivals there continues. It’s a challenge that’s led the destination’s tourism board to innovate and launch a loyalty program for its most dedicated consumer segment: the 360,000 Grenadians who live abroad.

Named ‘473 Connect’, referencing the country’s area code, Grenada Tourism Authority’s rewards program for the diaspora launched in March and is another example of destinations pushing the loyalty frontier to establish a more sustainable tourism future.

“We are a small destination with very limited budgets and coming into the organisation and recognising that we have two people in the US, and we didn’t even have anyone in the UK but then we sent someone there, and we have one person in Canada — it’s a mammoth task,” said Petra Roach, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority. “You do a quick audit of who are your biggest advocates so that really is the diaspora.” 

Grenada offers incentives — in the form of points and discounts — for Grenadians abroad who agree to become ‘473 Connect ambassadors’.

Members are encouraged to sign up on the dedicated 473 Connect loyalty platform, complete an online 12-module training course on Grenada, convince people to visit and refer them to a travel agent who then seals it with a booking.

“We thought, let’s treat the diaspora like we would the travel industry, all the channels that we use all the time,” said Roach, adding that it cost little to launch the 473 Connect website and loyalty program, no more than EC$10,000 (KY$3,100).

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