Friday, April 19, 2024

Creating niches a tourism option


Share post:

Seeking new niches and diversifying its source markets will be a key solution to Barbados’ tourism challenges.
In recent years Government has been focusing on new markets including Brazil, and, in a new policy brief, Barbadian economist Chrystol Thomas has concluded that such action is justified.
Thomas, who works for the Inter-American Development Bank, expressed this view in her paper entitled Finding New Tourism Opportunities: Finally Looking South?
“Tourism is the mainstay of economic growth for many CARICOM countries. The sector’s vulnerability to external shocks is compounded by the highly concentrated source markets [the United Kingdom and the United States]. Creating niche markets with new commercial partners could serve as a good option to limit the impact of exogenous shocks,” she said.
“Also, diversification of the region’s source markets would be beneficial for increasing the awareness of CARICOM destinations and improving or creating new relations with non-traditional trading partners.
Furthermore, an enhanced tourism sector promotes better opportunities for linkages, through value chains for example, with other sectors of the economy.”
In her policy brief, the former Central Bank of Barbados employee examined the current tourism product in CARICOM member states with a particular focus on the economies that rely most on the industry, with Barbados high on that list.
Her overall analysis “shows that the tourism industry has steadily declined since the 2008 financial crisis and the introduction of the Air Passenger Duty by a main source market, the United Kingdom”, and that “expanding the tourism source markets to emerging economies could reduce the vulnerability”.
“For most CARICOM member countries . . . tourism is the mainstay of economic growth and development. On average, travel and tourism accounts for 28 per cent of total GDP for these member states, with Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, and Barbados relying heavily on the sector, while Suriname, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana are least dependent given their more commodity-structured type economies and high dependence on the agricultural sector as in the case of Haiti,” Thomas noted.
“For the tourism-oriented countries – Barbados, The Bahamas, the OECS member countries, Belize, and Jamaica – tourism adds 36 per cent of GDP after considering all expenditure for tourism-related businesses.
“Total tourism contribution to GDP for the tourist-based countries remained relatively flat over the years. Since the 2008 financial crisis, visitor arrivals waned which contributed to protracted low economic growth.”
Thomas also observed that compared with other destinations, the Caribbean’s tourism market share “is small”, accounting for only 0.7 per cent of global international visitor arrivals and about 4.2 per cent of people visiting the Americas. (SC)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Four arrested on drug charges

 Three Barbadians and a Venezuelan, who were caught on a vessel carrying over $8 million in cocaine and...

BAVERN looking at prospects

Some vendors in the city are hoping to get their share of the spoils as Bridgetown Market is...

Missing: Sonia Suzzette Parris

Police are seeking assistance in locating Sonia Suzzette Parris, 58, of Edey Village, Christ Church who disappeared on Wednesday night. Parris was...

Man sets himself on fire outside NY court at Trump’s trial

NEW YORK - A man set himself on fire on Friday outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump's historic...