Saint Vincent to get its first international airport in 2014

SaintVincent and Grenadines Islands

Editor’s Note: This is part of  a series of stories on Caribbean tourism. Read the previous stories here.

The 32-island nation of Saint Vincent & the Grenadines will mark a milestone early next year, when Argyle International Airport opens for business.

Runways, aprons and taxiways at the 275-acre airport — located in Argyle, on the main island of Saint Vincent — are now 82 percent complete, with all remaining infrastructure work to be finished by December 2013.

The runway will be 9,000 feet long and 150 feet wide, while the planned three-floor passenger terminal will cover 145,000 square feet and handle 1.5 million passengers annually. Still to be built: the control tower, cargo facilities, firefighting and rescue station, a weather station, access roads and sea defense works.

The airport should boost tourism industry and be an economic boom for the island.
The airport should boost tourism industry and be an economic  windfall for the island.

Financing for the $240 million airport is coming from an interesting mix of countries including Austria, Cuba, Iran, Mexico, Qatar, Turkey, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. When completed, the airport will be able to accommodate Boeing 747-400 jets, allowing direct flights for the first time between Saint Vincent and major markets including the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.

The  government expects Argyle’s opening to spur significant tourism investments. Tax concessions and other benefits are being offered to investors to develop a number of sites. These prime pieces of real estate include Mount Wynne, Saint Vincent (400-acre site for a hotel and 18-hole golf course); Young Island (13-acre site for a 30-room hotel, 200 yards off the coast of Saint Vincent); Saint Hillaire, Bequia (45 acres); Park Estate, Bequia (600 acres); Isle a Quatre (376 acres); Balliceaux (320 acres); Chatham Bay (99-acre site near Union Island) and Frigate Island (16 acres with 400 acres of seabed for a marina and resort development).

Nearby Pigeon Island in Saint Lucia and a breathtaking view of the beach.
Nearby Pigeon Island in Saint Lucia and a breathtaking view of the beach.

The country has 99 hotel properties with a combined 2,114 rooms.  Last year, Saint Vincent received 207,997 visitors, down from the 231,121 who came in 2011. However, cruise ship calls increased from 119 in 2011 to 136 in 2012.

In nearby Saint Lucia, the country’s tourist board has launched a new online, print and TV ad campaign called “Lift Your Senses.” Created by Boston-based travel marketing firm ISM, the campaign seeks to differentiate the mountainous, volcanic island through vignettes that pair key Saint Lucia attractions with the five senses — sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell.

“This captures what sets Saint Lucia apart from other Caribbean destinations in a way that we believe will differentiate our island in a crowded competitive set,” said Louis Lewis, director of tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.



3 thoughts on “Saint Vincent to get its first international airport in 2014

  • November 13, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Amen to the other comments…the airport is on track for it’s scheduled completion date of mid 2014….right now they’re seeking investors for various opportunities there…can’t wait for the project to be finished to fly on home direct 🙂

  • August 25, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    I could not have said it better. No other Caribbean island matches the diversity of Saint Vincent. From the Tobago keys marine park to the Botonic gardens and water falls. I have traveled to most Caribbean island. Just came back from Aruba, nothing compare to Saint Vincent and the Grenadine. Can’t wait for the airport to complete. I’ll be vacationing in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines a lot more.

  • August 4, 2013 at 2:27 AM

    Of all the Caribbean islands St.Vincent and the Grenadines are UN matched. Our beautiful landscape and seascape puts this 32 island paradise apart from all the others. From the cascading hills of La Soufrierre to the serenity of our black and white sand beaches to the picturesque Grenadine Island with beautiful waters for sailing complimented with our diverse cuisine of local foods. SVG is the natural place to be. Our people are friendly and easy to get along with complimented by our stable democratic government. Come to SVG land of the blessed, hairouna.

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