Grenada is optimistic about the return of the UK market this winter – despite England’s lockdown coinciding with the resumption of Virgin Atlantic and British Airways flights.

Virgin Atlantic re-launched its twice-weekly direct service to the island on October 26 and BA followed suit on October 28 – eight days before England’s lockdown came into force.

Patricia Maher, chief executive of the Grenada Tourism Authority, told Travel Weekly: “It’s hard to predict the future but we’re taking it step by step and, slowly but surely, we’re getting back out there.

“We know the flights will resume again, hopefully in the first week of December.”

But she said it was likely to take “some time” before visitor numbers returned to pre-Covid levels. The island reported record numbers of visitors in 2018 and 2019, surpassing 500,000 international arrivals in both years.

Visitors currently need to show a negative PCR test upon arrival and take a second test four days later, if they wish to travel outside of their hotel.

Maher said the protocols meant visitors could be assured of “pure, safe travel.”

“More or less everybody you interact with will have been certified,” she said. “We want to keep you safe – so you can come to Grenada, enjoy the destination and go out and explore like we do.”

She said the island would be targeting the luxury market over the coming year and beyond, with several new hotel openings in the pipeline.

Boutique, 12-suite wellness resort The Point at Petite Calivigny opened on the south coast on October. Kimpton Kawana Bay will follow suite next year with 168 rooms, and in 2022 a 100-room Six Senses is set to open in La Sagesse, marking the global brand’s first foray into the Caribbean.

“When Silversands opened in 2018, it really brought a new focus to Grenada with a very high-end, very luxurious product,” she said.

“We want to build on that market further, and there’s a lot of good things happening in the destination over the coming years to help us do that.”