Minister reiterates Grenada an “extremely safe’’ tourist destination

St. George’s, Grenada – Grenada’s Tourism Minister Peter David has said that Grenada remains an “extremely safe destination’’ for visitors, adding that government intends to keep it that way.

He made the comment in response to questions about the potential impact on tourism of the death of Oscar Bartholomew.

The 39-year-old Grenadian, who resided in Canada and was visiting his homeland with his Canadian-born wife, died at the General Hospital where he was taken following an altercation with officers at the St. David’s Police Station.

Officers of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Royal Grenada Police Force, who are conducting a probe into the Boxing Day incident in St. David, have so far charged two policemen with manslaughter in connection with Bartholomew’s death.

“This is a tragedy on all counts, especially for the Bartholomew family,’’ said Mr. David, who is also Minister of Civil Aviation and Culture.

“Like all Grenadians, including all my colleagues in government, we would have preferred this not to have happened to anyone, particularly to a national who was visiting with his wife,’’ the minister added. “But from the perspective of visitor safety, and in comparison to other tourist-dependent nations of the world, Grenada still is – and will continue to be – an extremely safe destination for travelers from around the world.’’

The Bartholomews’ legal representative in Grenada is lawyer Derick Sylvester. He said Bartholomew’s mother and his wife, Dolette, had expressed interest in meeting with government representatives.

The lawyer said he was successful on Friday in setting up a meeting with Minister David, who talked with Bartholomew’s mother and wife.

Mr. David conveyed his sympathies to the couple and their families, and again extended government’s condolences that were first expressed earlier in the week by Prime Minister Hon. Tillman Thomas.

For Sylvester, having the Minister David meet with the two grieving Bartholomew family members was “a step in the right direction.’’

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