Bim on top

by Emmanuel Joseph

Although it has dropped one point this year, Barbados remains one of the 10 top selling travel destinations for 2013.

In its Travel Trends Report 2013, globally-recognised tour operator, Kuoni, put Barbados at number eight as world-wide destinations of choice.

Vice-President of the Barbados Tourism Authority’s UK Office, Petra Roach, told Barbados TODAY in an exclusive interview via telephone from her London base, that Kuoni was a very strong partner of the BTA.

“It’s not the first time Kuoni has put out a report on Barbados. They do it regularly. We dropped one point because last year, we were seventh and this year, we are eighth. We were 10 before,” Roach said.

The BTA vice-president pointed out that Kuoni, which has world wide distribution reach, had done a lot of work with Barbados, especially in the area of training. She said the leading tour operator has global distribution presence that reached potential markets in Switzerland and as far as India.

“We have to get business in other areas and we are working with Kuoni to leverage tourism business out of Switzerland and India,” announced Roach.

The Barbados tourism marketing and promotional arm in the UK official noted that Kuoni had been restructuring last year and was therefore not in a position to act on assisting this island with getting business out of India and Switzerland.

“We expect that restructuring to be completed this year and hopefully we can start benefiting from Kuoni’s distribution strength this year,” observed the tourism executive.

President of the BTA, Urban Cumberbatch, told Barbados TODAY, while he had not yet seen the Kuoni report, any positive news about the industry, was of great significance.

Cumberbatch gave the assurance that the authority’s public relations officials in the UK were “on top of it” and would capitalise on the situation.

The Kuoni Travel Trends Report for 2013 said destinations spanning the exotic Far East and Africa, magical Indian Ocean, and colourful USA, Caribbean and Mexico, were set to be a hit this year.

It identified the Maldives, for the second year running, as the top selling destination for 2013.

“Overall, the ten top selling destinations for 2013 are, the Maldives, Thailand, Sri Lanka, USA, the United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Barbados, Singapore and St. Lucia,” declared the leading tour operator.

Kuoni revealed that hand-picked hideaways, secluded villas, pampering hotels and private islands, were the order of the day for travellers this year.

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