Low-cost LIAT flying in 2014?


Barbadians could be enjoying low-cost air travel within the region next year.

Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association president Patricia Affonso-Daas told the fourth quarterly general meeting of her organization at Hilton Barbados Resort yesterday, that its marketing committee was seriously considering a mechanism to make air travel less costly for persons using the regional airline LIAT.

“There is need to have cheaper airfares intra- Caribbean especially, between Trinidad and Barbados. Trinidadians will not travel on LIAT for their leisure breaks and the rates currently in effect on Caribbean Airlines are a deterrent, cost-wise,” Affonso-Daas said.

She suggested that Trinidadians can probably fly to Miami for the same fare.

“Through the marketing committee, we are looking at offering an incentive to LIAT passengers from specific islands at strategic periods, during 2014, to generate traffic into Barbados,” announced the BHTA leader.

“The Barbados Tourism Authority UK office is currently running an initiative via the barbadosrewards.co.uk website, which will see agents being rewarded on a per-booking basis and earning reward points,” continued the hotel executive.

She said this information had been communicated to the hotel segment of the association.

“We encourage all hotels to participate in an effort to build a healthy and engaged relationship with agents, increase the ability to communicate with them directly and recognize the key performers,” the BHTA president said.

Meanwhile, an $8 million public-private sector initiative is being launched on May 9, next year, aimed at improving this country’s product and services and standards of hosting.

Affonso-Daas said that introduction of the initiative, known as Barbados Together –– the National Tourism Host Programme, was imperative for the success of the island’s marketing efforts.

“The development phase for this project has been completed and there are to be two components for the programme, one being Barbados Together, which represents the public face, and the other, Hosting Bajan- Style, which represents the private face,” she announced.

The hotel industry spokesperson stated that the Barbados Together component had various modules covering topics such as heritage, attractions and service quality.

“To ensure improvements of the nation’s hosting, it will be mandatory for all defined tourism service delivery groups to participate in Barbados Together. Six areas of focus have been selected by the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport; these being airport, seaport, beaches, public transportation, immigration, and one of the brand element for Barbados –– cleanliness,” pointed out Affonso-Daas. (EJ) 

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