No tourism inertia
BTMI head sets out ‘new’ tourism vision
The new head of the recently established state-owned tourism marketing agency has served notice he will not be settling for sluggishness, but will be insisting on accountability in the organization.
In his first official public pronouncement since taking up the job two weeks ago, chief executive officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI), William Billy Griffith, told the annual general meeting and luncheon of the Tourism Development Corporation (TDC) at Accra Beach Resort, Christ Church, this afternoon that the team he now leads must also be dynamic, responsive and decisive.
“We will not be paralysed with inertia,” said Griffith, as he set out his vision for the BTMI. The CEO, who met his new board only yesterday, also intends to focus on building industry partnerships.
“We will continue to solidify all of our key on-island partnerships with a view to improving our collaborative approach for joint initiatives that are measurable and possess a discernable return on investment.”
Griffith said there were already many positive indications of growth in the key markets for 2015, adding that “our goal to escalate the Barbados brand in these markets in the coming months”.
He said emphasis would be placed on Barbados’ unique identity “through a positive projected image which is clear and well positioned in relation to competitors”.
The BTMI chief is also promising that there will be greater collaboration between the BTMI and the TDC in 2015.
“Without doubt, there is huge scope for us to have a more collaborative approach in the coming months. I will request to see the tourism audit that was recently carried out, and I already have a few ideas on how TDC and ourselves can partner, especially with the new brand rollout of BTMI.”
Griffith said, too, that with the added flexibility afforded the agency, it would allow for increased effectiveness in the development of new opportunities, as well as a more results-oriented culture.
With 66 positions in the BTMI still to be filled, he revealed that two thirds had already been covered, including key management posts.
Meanwhile, four new global directors of marketing have been appointed to the BTMI. They include former interim CEO Petra Roach, who will head up operations in the United States, having previously held the position of vice-president of marketing in Britain for more than ten years.
Cheryl Carter will take on the job of director in Britain, Peter Mayers in Canada, and Vicky Chandler for the Caribbean and Latin America.
Griffith said the four directors would assume duties on January 1, 2015.
During today’s meeting, chairman of the Project Assessment Committee, Mark Thompson, reported that $635,000 had been disbursed this financial year to fund various tourism-related ventures.
Thompson said that $200,000 of that figure was used to finance the enhancement of attractions, while 25 per cent went towards sporting events. The remainder was used on heritage initiatives, including the underground tunnel at The Garrison.
TDC chairman Anthony King also announced that $100,000 had been contributed to setting up the South Coast police security cameras. King said the West cCoast would be the next area of focus.