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APD causing havoc

CTO boss Hugh Riley with BHTA head Patricia Affonso-Daas.

That “hateful” Air Passenger Duty out of the United Kingdom is reported to be wreaking havoc on visitor arrivals to Barbados.

This was revealed today by Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Hugh Riley, as he unveiled some of the findings of new research done by his body, at the 12th annual general meeting of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Delivering the feature address, Riley also said the high cost of regional air travel was clearly affecting the business of the hotel sector.

“We looked at the way the distance travelled and the cost of the airfare affected the advance booking time,” noted the CTO chief. “From the UK, 56 per cent of the respondents booked their Intimate Hotels vacation three months or more in advance; from the Caribbean, that figure was 6.5 per cent.”

The influential tourism executive also found that at 75 rooms and under, these smaller properties were the bedrock of the industry and the ones that “truly” represented the character and essence of local hospitality.

“We learned, too, that Intimate Hotel guests are creatures of habit. Guests who visited the country four or more times were likely to choose the same type of accommodation as they did on their first visit,” disclosed Riley.

And he pointed out that this did not vary much by country of residence. The CTO boss said the researchers also learnt that on a value-for-money scale of zero to 10, guests of the Intimate Hotels of Barbados have consistently rated those properties at seven or above, for the past five years.

He announced that the CTO also did a detailed Trip Advisory scan against the names on the Intimate Hotels list, just to see how those comments compared. With respect to good value for money, it was found that several visitors indicated that although accommodation was quite simple and modest, they were very affordable and reasonably priced. Visitors also suggested that this type of accommodation was excellent for persons travelling on a budget.

“Despite the relatively low prices, the rooms were spacious with facilities which catered especially to families,” noted the survey. (EJ)

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