Maintaining our presence

As we look towards the last part of the year, one may ask the question: How are we going to maintain our presence in the market places? I believe that Barbados has many good stories to tell.

In another two weeks, many of my colleagues will attend the World Travel Market in the United Kingdom; our presence there is going to be very important. During these very uncertain times, it is important that we meet our industry partners face-to-face to give them the comfort that is necessary for our industry.

The Barbados Food, Wine & Rum Festival is also taking place during the month of November and from all reports, there is great excitement being created about this festival.

The Hennessey Artistry show, which is scheduled to take place on December 1, is also creating much needed excitement and the list of performers scheduled to be here in Barbados during this year’s event seems to be a big drawing card.

All of the events mentioned above help to create a level of excitement that we need to keep Barbados at the forefront of the minds of our strategic partners in our major source markets.

In addition to these events, the BHTA has recently announced an initiative which is aimed at stimulating bookings during the next couple of months. This initiative takes the form of a credit to the consumer on arrival into the island from the source hotel, which is being funded by the BHTA through the Tourism Fund.

To me, this is a very creative use of the Tourism Fund to stimulate business while at the same time, helping to replenish the fund. I feel, this is a good time to reiterate to hotels who are not today participating in this initiative, to get on board and help the industry to help itself.

There is no doubt that other warm weather destinations are currently more active in terms of their marketing and advertising than we are. What is working for us at this time is a level of creativity and excitement, which will give a great PR story.

With all of the events taking place on the island during the next two months, there is no doubt that there are going to be several members of the international press here. This is another great opportunity for all Barbadians to join hands and showcase Barbados as an active and safe destination and have that story told to the rest of the world.

* Tourism is our business, let’s play our part.

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