Pitcher pushing the isles online
As Barbados continues to place greater emphasis on further developing the tourism industry, one local company is doing its bit to promote the island and all the services in the industry. In addition, the online platform caribbeantraveller.com is promoting all the other Caribbean islands.
A directory, caribbeantraveller.com, gives detailed information about each Caribbean island in relation to the hospitality and entertainment industry. Launched by owner of Fun ’N’ Sun Publishing, Robert Pitcher, in 1994 as a book –– Caribbean Traveller –– all the content then was in black and white. In 1997/1998, the directory was upgraded to full colour.
Fast-forward to about seven years ago: Pitcher then decided to move the directory online as technology usage began to grow. Pitcher told Barbados TODAY that he was now able to reach a wider audience, and the need for that type of promotional website had become more critical.
He said a number of companies were benefiting from having their business featured on the website.
Pointing out that the website caribbeantraveller.com had undergone several changes since its introduction, Pitcher said he was constantly staying abreast of current trends of travellers.
A frequent flyer himself, Pitcher said the “one-stop” website gave travellers all the information they needed about accommodation, car rentals, food, entertainment, airlines, tour operations among other areas, in the Caribbean islands before taking or while on a trip.
“There is no other website like this. The most unique travel website on the Caribbean is caribbeantraveller.com,” boasted Pitcher.
He said having the opportunity to search for all the amenities on one website was something many people appreciated.
Account executive Danielle Regis, 25, is responsible for getting business and updating and monitoring information for companies in a number of islands, including Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis and St Maarten.
Regis told Barbados TODAY that while it was not a route she always wanted to pursue, it definitely gave her the opportunity to “explore, make decisions and develop something that is of benefit to the region’s tourism industry”.
“I think it is very important to market the Caribbean as an entire destination because other places are becoming more accessible and the Caribbean has always been something that is very basic. We have to reinvent ourselves and promote ourselves as something more than just that one small island.
“We do need to get to a place . . . like what the cruises do and give people more than one stop, and you get to see more than one island,” she explained.
She said one of the challenges, though, was that a lot of people in each island preferred to do their own marketing and promotion. This, she said, could be hindering the full development of the tourism product.
“We are a very small fish while the world market is growing. If we are not working together, then we are pretty much working against each other. Nobody comes just for a hotel alone, or a restaurant alone. They come for an entire experience, and if we are not offering that as one team, then eventually we are going to just fall apart,” said Regis.
She added that while there were other online platforms promoting various aspects of the islands’ offerings, they did not cover the broad selection that caribbeantraveller.com did.
Regis believes caribbeantraveller.com will soon become a household name and the go-to website for info on any Caribbean island.
Having taken up her position almost three months ago, she said the journey had been a challenging but exciting one so far.
Regis said the most exciting part of her job was getting the opportunity to travel “and to have a voice in what is happening”.
“Not many young people are in the position at my age where their voices are heard, and what they say are taken into consideration,” she suggested.