Going places

Tourism efforts paying off – BTMI

Chairman of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) Alvin Jemmott believes the country’s efforts at expanding the tourism product is bearing fruit, especially as other destinations enter the marketplace.

With the country preparing to welcome an estimated 2,000 visitors for the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA) from August 17-27, Jemmott said the cultural spectacular was coming at an ideal time for the industry.

Stalls set up at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre for CARIFESTA 2017. Inset Alvin Jemmott

“In terms of diversifying our tourism product and trying to bridge the gap between out peak seasons and trough seasons, I believe that we are starting to see some of that taking place. Earlier this year we had the Oldie Goldie Cricket festival. We also had the World Flower Show here in Barbados and you’d remember those two events took place in what would be traditionally a tough period.

“They would have added to what we are seeing in terms of the increase so far. CARIFESTA also comes at a time when we would normally see a bit of a fall-off usually right after Crop Over, but coming right behind Crop Over I think that the CARIFESTA festival will add to our numbers as well,” Jemmott said while revealing that the property which he manages, Divi Resort, was among those reporting full occupancy ahead of Thursday’s opening ceremony.

Meantime, the BTMI chairman has revealed that the former home accommodation programme had evolved from what was envisaged.

That initiative, first highlight over a decade ago for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, and was developed to cater for the projected increased arrivals due to the region’s staging of mega sporting event, during what is a peak travel season.

Homeowners were invited to use the spare capacity in homes to accommodate tourists.

Drawing reference to programmes like Airbnb, he said the number of yearly booking through this platform indicated that market was steadily increasing.

“A lot of the benefits from this type of shared economy in home accommodation redounds to this new visitor who is seeking the type of adventure that this type of accommodation brings,” Jemmott explained.

He further told Barbados TODAY that effort were ongoing to entice visitors to these shores beyond the tradition means; with a heavy focus on new media.

“First and foremost, when we advertise Barbados, we first advertise the destination Barbados.  People come for the destination Barbados and then we go on to the accommodation.

“I would hazard to guess that we are seeing a lot of fruits being borne because of the advertising campaign, the new social media strategies and campaign, the digital advertising and it stretches across all types of markets.  I am seeing the new media and the new visitors.  They are coming along hand in glove,” he said.

6 Responses to Going places

  1. Epaphras D. Williams
    Epaphras D. Williams August 17, 2017 at 2:25 am

    The price of food in particular is ridiculous. Locals suffering, repeat visitors crying out and you bringing more to go back and say how expensive everything is in Barbados? Do something about the cost of living and there will not be one bed available in any hotel unless that hotel is under renovation. I personally would give visitors a discount card for at least 2 days but there has to be co-operation across the sectors.

  2. samantha walker August 17, 2017 at 5:41 am

    As long as the visitors / tourists are happy who cares about the citizens the workers that make it possible for them !!

  3. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba August 17, 2017 at 7:57 am


  4. Alex Alleyne August 17, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Anything on DELTA , Sir.

  5. BaJan boy August 17, 2017 at 8:45 am

    He should be running one of those one door shops in the picture. Just a mouth peice for the MOT. The tourism industry like all of the others are now being run by clowns. We live in a circus with Freundel as the puppet master..

  6. Milli Watt August 17, 2017 at 9:54 am

    A tourist industry with no direct link to Manufacturing or agriculture and we wonder why this place is in the position it is in stupse. Parasites all of them parasites.


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