The Government of Grenada has entered into a 25-year lease agreement for the development of a major tourist attraction, the Annandale waterfall, according to a report from NOW Grenada.
The disclosure of the lease agreement comes nine months after the Spice Isle’s Government announced plans to commercialise one of Grenada’s main tourist attractions managed by the Ministry of Tourism.
“What we do have is an agreement for a lease of the facilities. There are two young Grenadians who have come up with a proposal to enhance what is going on at Annandale and to change it, in keeping with environmental guidelines. So that, there, will be moderate changes but it is still environmentally friendly,” NOW Grenada quotes the Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste, who also confirmed that the attraction was not sold to any private entity.
According to NOW Grenada, Modeste had announced in October 2019, during one of the weekly post-Cabinet briefings, that the Government was in the process of finalising a lease agreement that will see the waterfall in Annandale becoming a commercialised entity.
At the time of the briefing, the tourism minister explained that the Government on two different occasions had issued invitations for proposals to commercialise the site, and on each occasion the same two entities submitted bids.
However, yesterday when she made the announcement, she withheld sharing the name of the company, stating rather that it will be revealed in a formal forum. Modeste also disclosed that the company was selected by a committee that included individuals associated with the Department of Forestry and other relevant stakeholders.
“There are two young Grenadians who have come up with a proposal to enhance what is going on at Annandale and to change it, in keeping with environmental guidelines.”— Minister of Tourism in Grenada Clarice Modeste
While remaining cautious in sharing the details of the agreement, Modeste disclosed that the agreement will mandates a review of the lease every three years to ensure that the developers are complying with the terms of reference. She added that any work such as planting or cutting down of trees must first be approved by the Department of Forestry.
Presently, there is no admittance fee for locals to use the facility for locals under the new arrangement. The tourism minister, nevertheless, pointed out that this will change and a small fee will be charged.
“There might be some small sacrifice that one will have to make,” she stated in the article, which cited her referring to Annandale Waterfall as a national asset that must be enjoyed by both locals and visitors.
“Any asset we have must be shared between locals and visitors,” Modeste declared, pointing out that if locals are stopped from utilising such a national asset this can impact visitors, because visitors normally enjoy mixing and mingling with locals.