St. Vincent: A Growing Caribbean Tourism Force

The world is catching on to the joys of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This as tourism officials from this country were in Toronto to talk up the wonderful nature, fantastic festivals and warm, welcoming people of this destination.

Air Canada began flying to the island directly from Toronto last year. Flights will begin again in October, with one flight a week, increasing to two flights a week from December until late April, said Glen Beache, CEO, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority.

According to the officials, some 8,000 Canadians visited St. Vincent and the Grenadines last year. Overall, visits last year rose to just over 303,000; up 33.4 per cent from 2016. Cruise passenger visits soared by 75 per cent last year.

“We want it to be a secret, but not too much of a secret,” Beache said with a smile. “It’s for people who want a true Caribbean experience.”

Union Island Clifton Bay Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines

“There are 32 islands and cays, so there is always a different experience to be had,” said the Honourable Cecil McKie, Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture. “St. Vincent and the Grenadines arguably offer the most diverse tourism product in the region.”

The Caribbean is famous for its festivals, but St. Vincent’s annual summer Carnival is known as the hottest of the bunch, said Ricardo Adams, Chairman, Carnival Development Corporation.

“You’ll find everything from cultural events to beads and feathers,” he said. “It’s very safe, extremely high energy and intimate.”

Shelley John, director of sales, Canada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Office, said Canadian travel agents can attend special information sessions on the destination from Sept. 24 to 28. Events will be held in Niagara Falls, Oakville, Kingston, Ottawa and Montreal, she said.