Community involvement is key to ‘making our tourism product attractive to visitors.’ — Clarice Modeste Curwen
Grenada’s new tourism chief aims to continue recovery
By Gay Nagle Myers
Clarice Modeste Curwen, Grenada’s new
tourism minister, also holds portfolio responsibilities for culture, performing arts
and civil aviation.
But by the end of her first month in office, she knew that it would be the tourism
function that would take most of her time.
“Our government recognizes the impor-
tance of tourism and how it impacts Grenada and its people so directly on a daily
basis,” Curwen said.
Her top priority as tourism minister is to
continue the focus set by her predecessor,
Brenda Hood, who served in that post before, during and after Hurricane Ivan ravaged the island in 2004.
“Grenada is in an exciting phase right
now. We have gone forward after Ivan, we
have continuity in government and we are
attracting international investors and developers,” Curwen said.
Community involvement is key to “
making our tourism
to our visitors,” she
As an example, she
cited an event called
Fish Friday, begun in
the aftermath of Ivan
and now a popu-
lar happening each Curwen
Friday night in the Tourism Minister
seaside village of St. Grenada
John’s, halfway up the
island’s west coast.
“This brings locals and visitors together
to the stalls where the fishermen cook and
sell their fish, musicians gather and vendors
sell their crafts under a large tent,” Curwen
said. “It’s provided a source of income, economic activity and employment as well as a
sense of fraternity for everyone.”
One of the most visible signs of Grenada’s
comeback from Ivan is the new Port Louis
Project near the capital of St. George’s, begun in late 2006 by British entrepreneur Peter de Savary, who first visited Grenada as a
young boy on a family vacation.
When completed in several years, the
complex will feature a 120-room, five-star
hotel with spa; a 120-room, midrange property; estate lots; and residential units.
The 350-slip marina, which can accommodate mega-yachts, and a wharfside restaurant already are in operation.
Tapping into the sports tourism niche
market is among the things on Curwen’s
“We have a new stadium that hosted the
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International Cricket Cup matches, and
now we want to maximize this facility,” she
Developing the medical market also figures into Curwen’s plans, due in part to her
earlier training as a physician, later followed
by her three-year stint as minister of health.
She’s interested in setting up a dialysis unit
on the island for use by both locals and
Among the issues she will be dealing with
is the controversy over a proposed Four
Seasons property to be built on the Mount
Hartman Estate in the southern part of the
At issue is the restricted status of an area
encompassing 30% of the total land mass,
which was designated a national bird sanctuary some years ago for the protection of
the indigenous Grenada dove.
“There were fears that the construction
project would impact the bird sanctuary,”
Curwen said. “The government … will ensure that any development will respect the