Brits still desire Barbados despite vote
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) has not dampened interest in travel to Barbados, the agency charged with marketing the destination said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) William Billy Griffith was among a delegation led by Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy that visited the United Kingdom recently to meet with tour operators, travel agents and media to update them on Barbados initiatives and to gain insight into business initiatives and consumer reactions to the Brexit vote.
Griffith said the uncertainty in the UK notwithstanding, the Brits still yearn to holiday in Barbados.
“What we are hearing is that despite the current economic uncertainty in the UK, there is still a huge interest and desire to travel to Barbados among the UK travellers. It is also very important for us to ensure that we maintain the momentum achieved in 2015 and that we record growth in this our important anniversary year,” he said.
“Our work in developing new products, services and events was well received and our meetings this summer have laid the ground for even more productive meetings between Barbados and UK companies when we return for World Travel Market this November. We still anticipate a challenging period ahead but must be prepared for it.”
Chairman of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) Roseanne Myers, who was part of the delegation, emphasized the importance of Government teaming up with the private sector to respond to any impact the Brexit vote might have on travel from Britain.
“Strong, smart partnerships with the [tourism] trade and between BTMI and BHTA are going to be key moving forward and particularly in response to the fall and fluctuations in the value of the pound. We need to look at what our competition within and outside the region is doing. The good news was that the demand for Barbados is still comparatively strong,” Myers said.
The Barbados delegation also joined UK director Cheryl Carter and the BTMI UK team in a series of meetings with UK operators and airlines including British Airways, British Airways Holidays, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic Airways, as well as specialist luxury tour operators Caribtours, Kuoni, Kenwood and Tropical Sky.
So far this year, Barbados has welcomed more than 100,000 British visitors – three per cent higher than the corresponding period last year.
The visit to the UK was critical at this time as it was important to better understand how long-term partners and potential visitors are feeling, what decisions they are making and what support the destination can provide to ensure that Barbados retains its number one position in this market, BTMI said in a release.