EDITOR’S DIARY: PURE GRENADA

pure grenada

Dear Readers,

Grenada is the love of my life and the place that makes it possible for me to find the impetus to create. So imagine my anticipation when my love unveiled its new brand identity at the Ministry of Tourism’s office in Grenada on Valentines Day.

Positioning the island as ‘off the beaten track’ and a haven for the discerning explorer, our tri-island state fondly referred to as ‘the island of spice’ for many years, will now come to be known as PURE GRENADA – a word voiced by a child at Father Mulligan Home for Boys to express his home country.

The new logo stays true to the islands national symbol, production of nutmeg and mace and reflects Grenada’s deep Amerindian roots and ancestral heritage. The tagline Free To Wonder encourages visitors to bask in unspoilt treasures like Levera Beach and discover hidden waterfalls like Acoin and Adelphi.

I caught up exclusively with Honorable Alexandra Otway-Noel, Grenada’s newly appointed Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture at The Dorchester in London. She has been the driving force behind the rebrand to reposition the country as a major tourism destination and has done so with a dedicated team.

Alexandra Otway Noel

Name: Honorable Alexandra Otway-Noel
Place of birth: Toronto
Current residence: Grenada
Occupation: Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture  
 
Growing up in Grenada was pure freedom. I spent my childhood playing in plum trees and my youthful years sailing and venturing to waterfalls. We didn’t have the technology kids have today so we used our imagination. 
 
childhood
 
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I left home at 17 and travelled to Canada to study Art. I jumped right into it, got myself a part-time job, earned money, brought nice shoes and focused on forging my own path. It was my opportunity to experience different things, meet people from a diverse range of backgrounds and just get stuck in with city life. Whenever I felt homesick there was always an auntie I could go by for my Oil Down (Grenada’s national dish). After taking a broader approach to my creative interests, I decided to specialise in advertising, marketing and public relations. I got an early start in the travel and tourism industry right after graduating and I’ve never left the industry since.

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If you told me five years ago I was going to be a politician I would have laughed hysterically, but becoming Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture was a natural transition. I’ve always been involved in community projects, charitable organisations, carnival and social events. In my view politics is about people. I’m not a politician who wants to sit in an ivory tower I’m a team player. I am contactable via facebook, approachable enough to answer the direct questions of people in the streets and I value nothing more than having a heart-to-heart with members of the community.

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In Grenada one third of our government is made up of women. Our Governor General is a woman named Dr. Cecile La Grenada and women chair several organisations under my ministry. Women play a significant role in the running of this country and we are taking more of an active role on the front line. The most important thing for a woman in a leadership role is a strong support network. I often work though lunch, throughout the night and sometimes 7 days a week. There are times when I have to schedule in my husband, but he understands the nature of a newly appointed minister. I have a young son so balancing family life can be challenging, but the beauty of family life in the Caribbean is the sentiment that it takes a village to raise a child.

Dwain D ThomasImage by Dwain Thomas

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When I was presented with the opportunity to run for South St George I went for it because I felt Grenada could do better, we needed creativity and restyling, we needed ingenuity and a fresher perspective and we needed to work together and work hard. Through the process I have been and continue to be true to myself and my constituents by not making unreasonable promises. Ultimately it is a team effort across the board. I want to engage more with the population and inform them of the importance of the tourism sector. When visitors come to Grenada to enjoy and respect our country and culture, it is also the responsibility of the population to make them feel at home. When journalist come to Grenada, I challenge them to get in touch with the older generation, listen to their stories and find out firsthand about the history of our country. When Grenadians in the diaspora return home, it is important for them to contribute to the countries growth. I visited London to speak to the Grenadian diaspora who expressed their frustration of the high taxation on UK flights preventing them from visiting more often. I am in talks with airlines to find ways to regulate fares and make travelling to Grenada more affordable. Its unfortunate, but it’s the reality we face regionally as well as internationally.

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Grenada is a magnificent destination and has so much to offer, so it was important for us to reposition and rebrand Grenada. We want quality not quantity, we want to preserve our environment, maintain its beauty and be mindful of the huge strain tourism can have on the environment. We are focusing on the more discerning traveller and our diaspora who make up a large chunk of the market, which is why we have rebranded Grenada as Pure. So far there has been a general burst of positivity towards the rebranding and repositioning of Grenada. We have something special and so does every other island. The whole Caribbean needs to work together because we are competing against the world. I am a little bit impartial and I have to say in Grenada you’re not a tourist you’re a guest.

Grenada Sailing Festival

I am a ComplexdWoman because I’m a chameleon. I can be seen sitting on the block having a Guinness or having tea at The Dorchester. I was brought up to treat everyone with respect, no matter who that person is or where they come from. Human beings are human beings and that has contributed to my success in my political career thus far. People know that my relationship with them is authentic…I’m not faking it.

Discover what is PURE about GRENADA via this video

Video produced by Grenada Tourism Authority in collaboration with True Blue Bay Resort and Villas, Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association, InfocusHD and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas. Soundtrack by our very own Sabrina, Tammy and the Navigators. 

10 comments

  1. Paula says:

    I am so proud of our Minister for Tourism and Parliamentary, She a woman of vision, who’s passionate about Tourism,energetic, hard working loves her country and constituents and I do believe if we all work together our Tourism product will be the envy of the region.

  2. Joe "Country" Greenidge says:

    I really thought that tourism is all about promoting the best of the country in a way that when folks from foreign countries hear about Grenada that they will be eager to come to visit. In the case of this video I don’t think that this is the best way to promote tourism. After listening to the price comparison of foods in Grenada and foods in America I became pretty stressed out than convinced to come to visit. This video serves its purpose but not as a tool to attract a tourist. There are more interesting things about Grenada than hoping to get the same foods at the same price as in the US. Tourism suppose to market Grenada better than That.

    By Joe “Country” Greenidge.

  3. Serie says:

    love it..I’m sharing for sure..

  4. Sheree-Ann says:

    That’s Alex! Very nice article.

  5. kenda says:

    wow this is awsome Grenada look so beautiful, my homeland

  6. Theodore H. Blaize says:

    I watched this captivating video with the beautiful soundtrack,while in my office this morning, then looked out my window to glare at the huge mounds of ice and snow.

    My thoughts drifted to Beausejour Bay in Carriacou,Top Hill and Belair,and was jarred back to reality by the buzzing sound of my telephone. Oh well, back to work,but soon come,PURE GRENADA.

  7. Una says:

    Sounds wonderful. I hope it leads to greater things for Grenada..

  8. deany says:

    I think its a good video of Grenada, I think we should have highlighted our spices a little more. What we will have to do now is to educate and sensitize our people on what does “Pure Grenada” means. There is so much more than sand sun and sea. Do we have the money to advertise and show the world what Grenada has to offer so that so more tourists can visit?

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Posted in Editor's Diary | 10 Comments