Tourism development has long been an area of economic diversification which is being vigorously pursued, not only by St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but globally. Stay-over Visitor is one of the most important visitor categories.. The majority of the stay-over visitors are from the Caribbean, with 33.8%,the USA with 28.6%, the UK 18.4%, the rest of Europe 8.2%/and Canada with 8.2% as well.
The majority of Stay-Over Visitors, travel to St. Vincent and the Grenadines for pleasure purposes, others for business and still others can be categorized a “Yacht” tourist arrivals which if combined with the “pleasure” arrivals group produces an overall leisure/business split of 82% to 17%.
On average, Stay-Over Visitors stayed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for 11.7 days. Canadian tourists registered the longest average stay with 14.7 days, followed by European tourists with 13.9 days while USA Stay-Over Visitors stayed on average 11.4 days. These average stays are relatively long and are thought to be influenced by visitors to friends and relatives by expatriate Vincentians.
The available statistics show that a significant number of stay over visitors are in the professional and managerial field.
For this reason, and also to ensure that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is prepared to capture its fair share of the projected increase in stay-over visitors to the region, Invest SVG is proactively working with both local and overseas investors to deliver this developmental goal.
There are several factors which will allow St. Vincent and the Grenadines to make tourism development a viable investment option:
· St. Vincent and the Grenadines has a multi-faceted tourism product which covers sailing, eco-tourism, proposed sports and business tourism, and private island resort development
· St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ tourism product will target high end/luxury development rather than mass tourism
· SVG offers a relatively crime free environment, which is a major consideration for investors and tourists
· The performance of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ tourism sector has been better than the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) average in recent years.
· The establishment of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority and the National Parks, Rivers, and Beaches Authority will ensure the proper management of the National tourism Product. Implementation of these measures also enhances competitiveness of the sector.
A modern cruise and ferry complex at Port Kingstown, including deepwater berths and cruise terminal may accommodate two vessels, while the adjacent ferry terminal has four berths with ro-ro ramps for inter-islands vessels. The Cruise visitors and visitors from private yachts are considered a vital part of the Tourism Industry. Port Kingstown continues to be the main Port of entry followed by Union Island and Bequia in the Grenadines.
The further diversification of the tourism industry into upscale and niche markets has led to investments opportunities such as marinas and a professional golf course. Incentives are now being offered to hotel developers interested in facilities in excess of 100 rooms. This sort of development is actively being encouraged in light of the construction of the international airport development and the exotic appeal of the islands.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is an ideal location for Sports Tourism as the tranquility of the islands ensure that athletes do not suffer the distractions prevalent in other locations. The capacity for sports tourism will be further enhanced by the increase in hotel accommodation.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is known for its tranquility and natural beauty as well as its historical and cultural landmarks, reflecting the geophysical topography as well as its colonial past. The numerous monuments and landmarks in the island on which a theme park can be developed are well documented. St Vincent National Trust holds a wide range of artifacts and other items that indicates the diverse culture and history. Some of the significant architectural marvels of the island are Fort Charlotte, St George’s Anglican Cathedral, and St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Currently there are a number Tourist Attractions on the Island such as the Falls of Baleine, Dark View Falls and Trinity Falls which are extremely popular amongst tourists. There are also a number of beaches in the region that are renowned for their breathtaking natural sceneries. Some of the popular beach destinations on the island are Princess Margaret Beach, Salt Whistle Bay, Mt. Wynne; Tobago Cays, Lower Bay and Richmond Beach amongst others. Other attractions in the island are Layou Petroglyphs, Carib Rock and St Vincent Botanic Gardens. Work is ongoing on many of these locations to further develop them and enhance their standards.
Within the Marine Tourism sector, yachting has been identified as having the strongest potential for tourism development. The Marine Tourism Policy outlines that ‘Yachting has unlimited potential for growth based on the country’s well endowed natural resource base, numerous offshore cays, good anchorages, extensive reef, and clear waters for sailing and SCUBA diving’.
Gaming-St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Gambling is legal in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Two casinos exist on the islands, while a national lottery is also held. As of this writing, horse racing, dog racing and sports betting do not exist on the islands, although they would be allowed.
Two casinos are currently in operation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. They are: Petit Carenage Bay, Canouan, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. One restaurant is also located on the premises, as well as a 156-room hotel. Emerald Valley Resort and Casino (Penniston Valley, Kingstown, Saint Vincent, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) There is also a 24-room hotel and one restaurant.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have joined with the Caribbean Community to support the regulation of online gambling as opposed to the outright banning of it.
View List of Tourism Contacts