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Grenada mines gold in 2012

Grenada is closing out 2012 with additional golden treasures to add to their Olympic treasure trove harvested in sports and tourism.

Recently the acclaimed Spice Island was listed among The Best of the World destinations to visit in 2013. On any scale of measure, Grenada gets a gold rating for achieving that distinguishing acknowledgement and mention in the tourism industry.

Named by National Geographic Traveler, as one of next year’s 20 Must See Places to visit, the December to January issue claims the capital St. Georges “one of the prettiest towns in the Caribbean.”

It also lists Grenada’s traditional, weekly “Fish Friday” festival in Gouyave; spices present in products made at attractions such as Belmont Estate and the Grenada Chocolate Factory, nature from Mount Hartman to the mangrove-fringed coastlines and coral reefs offshore as some of the reasons for the island’s inclusion on the prestigious list.

Also glistening with approval from the publication and their readers is the 10th Gold medal win at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Grenada is celebrating a banner year of golden gains.

“We are extremely honored to receive these coveted tributes from such respected outlets as Scuba Diving, National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines and from the Royal Horticulture Society,” Dr. George Vincent, minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture said.

“Grenada is continuously striving to preserve and improve upon its distinctive tourism product both above and below the water, and these ongoing designations are a testament to the success of our efforts.”

In January, 2012 Grenada was cited for having both the “Best Wreck Diving” and the “Best Advanced Diving” in the Caribbean/Atlantic region.

Scuba Diving Magazine in its 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards which appeared in the January/February 2012 issue bestowed that honor.

The article stated that, “Grenada should be high on any wreck lover’s list,” noting the Shakem as a popular wreck with advanced divers and the Bianca C. as the island’s premiere wreck. The muscular currents, fast-moving reef drifts, blue-water descents and fish-swarmed pinnacles and sunken vessels just offshore are listed as among the many reasons for divers to explore the island.

In March, 2012, a special edition of National Geographic Magazine featured Grenada’s Underwater Sculpture Park as one of the “Wonders of the World – Earth’s Most Awesome Places.”

The Park, which is a main tourist attraction, is located two miles north of St. George’s at Molinere Bay and features sculptures by renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

Compiling photographs in the categories of air, earth and sea, Grenada’s underwater statues joins the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and Machu Picchu, Peru as unique places to visit.

In May, the Grenada exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show 2012, won a gold medal, the tenth to be awarded to Suzanne Gaywood MBE and the Spice Island’s Pavilion.

Named “Tropical Paradise,” the exhibit was comprised of heliconias, gingers, musas, anthuriums, orchids and other rainforest plants adorning a rustic circular pavilion in an exuding of color and scent that provided an authentic taste of Grenada.

Perhaps, the gold winning gain that garnered the most attention was when the island was recognized for its star athlete Kirani James. James gained the nation’s first Olympic gold medal winning the Men’s 400m race at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He also took home the pride of the island when he displayed sportsman-like behavior towards a South African, fellow competitor. He was lauded for those achievements by being named a tourism ambassador for the nation.

Updated 5:04 pm, December 21, 2012:
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