November 20, 2009
SVG gets TV and radio publicity to boost visits

Two high profile familiarization trips are expected to boost St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ faltering visitor numbers.{{more}}

Travel show radio host Chris Robinson and the ABC Television Network staple Good Morning America will be making calls to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in just under one month’s time.

The ‘fam trips’ as they are called are used by countries or organizations to garner positive publicity. The media houses or travel agencies are brought to the destinations and it is hoped that they will give positive reviews when they return.

According to Cathy Haynes, Hospitality Officer with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tourism Authority, Robinson and his crew are expected to arrive here on December 14 and remain until the 20th.

While here, the Toronto based radio show host, who airs on AM 1010 radio on Saturdays, is expected to travel to the Grenadines, where he will renew his wedding vows with his wife Dara on Canouan.

Then on the 19th at Young Island, Robinson will air a live radio broadcast featuring Minister of Tourism Glen Beache, during which they will field telephone calls from around the world.

Robinson’s visit will overlap with that of the Good Morning America team, who are expected here on December 16.

Members of the 34-year-old Emmy Award winning TV show will also travel to the Grenadines while here, as well as Dark View Falls where they will film segments for their programme.

The programme, hosted by Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, airs live daily in Times Square in New York City. The team leaves these shores on December 19th.

Both groups will also get a first hand taste of the Nine Mornings festivities.

Haynes indicated that if all goes to plan, the two trips will serve their purpose of increasing the awareness of St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a travel destination on the international market.

According to Haynes, the Authority hopes and believes that these trips and others like it will sooner or later transcend into more visits to these shores.

A similar trip was scheduled to take place this week involving journalists from France.

Numbers released by the Authority this week showed that visitor numbers from January to August this year have fallen when compared to the same time last year.

Visitor arrivals have fallen by 13.3 per cent for persons arriving by sea and by air according to the reports.

Tourism Minister Glen Beache said that the numbers were not as bad as expected and that although he acknowledged that the Ministry and the Authority had a long way to go, he said they will continue to market the destination as best as they can.

He, too, hoped for big things to emerge from the two upcoming fam trips.(JJ)