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CNN ranks SVG fifth among nine, as World’s Top destinations 2012

CNN ranks SVG fifth among nine, as World’s Top destinations 2012

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has made the list as one of the world’s top destinations for 2012, and one of the “hottest”, having been ranked highly by two reputable media organizations.{{more}}

Travel and Leisure ranked the island chain as the third Hottest Destination of 2012, out of thirteen destinations, while SVG was fifth among nine destinations ranked by CNN as the World’s Top destinations for 2012.

Chief Executive Officer of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Hotel and Tourism Authority Glen Beache told SEARCHLIGHT in a telephone interview on Wednesday, December 28, that the rankings reflect years of hard work.

“It speaks a lot about the destination and the people within the Tourism Authority in SVG. I think the Ministry and all the stakeholders need to be congratulated, because this didn’t happen overnight. It has taken a lot of work,” he said, adding that the agencies and overseas offices of St. Vincent and the Grenadines also put in hard work.

Beache, who said that he expects to hold a press conference next week to address the issue, along with statistics for 2011, added that rankings suggest that the country is heading in the right direction in terms of Tourism.

“We’re ecstatic.We’re happy about it,” Beache said. “I would like it to be number one, but that will come in due time, I think, as we continue to grow as a destination,” he added.

“We’re talking about globally.This is not top five in the Caribbean. This is number five in the world, so we’re very happy about it,” he said about the ranking of the country in CNN’s list.

“Everybody has their own opinion about who should be where, but when you talk about two reputable media houses such as Travel and Leisure and CNN, one cannot complain…” he said.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was beaten out by Sri Lanka and Toronto, the first and second Hottest Destinations for 2012 respectively, according to Travel and Leisure. SVG ranked ahead of places such as Abu Dhabi (Capital of the United Arab Emirates), Costa Navarina in Greece and Southern Bahia in Brazil. Other countries included in the list are China, Germany, Panama, Mozambique, and Arkansas, USA.

In its report on SVG, Travel and Leisure described the island chain as “an under-the-radar getaway for the jet-setting elite”. The report further said that “recent developments -including a $240 million airport set to open on St. Vincent next year – are making the region accessible to a broader audience.”

Commenting on the airport’s impact on Tourism, Beache stated that it will help in terms of getting more people to the country. He added that one way for persons to avoid dealing with high air fares will be to have direct flights to the island, which the International Airport will facilitate. The completion of the Argyle International Airport is scheduled for late 2013.

Travel and Leisure also listed several vacationers idylls around the country, including the new Buccament Resort, Petit St. Vincent, and the island of Mustique. According to the report, Mustique “remains a playground for the likes of Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger (and a runner up honeymoon pick for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge).”

Meanwhile, the CNN’s World top destinations for 2012 report stated that “some places will stand out above the rest when it comes to unforgettable things to do and see.” The lists of destinations were recommended by Robert Reid, U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet; Martin Rapp, senior vice president of leisure sales at Altour; Anne Banas, executive editor at Smarter Travel; and Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor for Orbitz.com.

England was the top destination, having been the venue for the Royal Wedding and also the home of the 2012 Olympics. World of the Maya, Myanmar, and Chicago also preceded St. Vincent and the Grenadines, while countries such as the Netherlands, Atlantic Canada, Uruguay and Orlando rounded out the top nine.

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